Previously on “The Art Of People Watching“, we identified that, one, we all do it, and two, we learn from it. Continuing from that topic, I want to explore how design frames the context for social groups in public spaces. So let’s dive into it- what have we learned from observing design and its influence on assembling people?
This may be an obvious one and for those who have already watched William’s Whyte study on urban spaces can confirm that this fact is in fact true!
“People sit where there are seats”
This obvious observation is not complicated but there are additional ways to make the space even more people friendly that follows.
Two sitting at a table or six? Easy. Just move the chairs. This enables groups of all sizes to flock to a space that simultaneously satisfy all parties and ensure no squad members get left out!
“The catalyst for social activity can be stimulated by seating”
Going back to the idea of people watching.. I’ll sit where I can watch you and you can watch me. This encourages clustering, which for some can initiate social comfort to those who like being in the mainstream of traffic.
I’ve only focused on one design aspect (seating) that influences social gathering, and I don’t doubt that there are so many more additional factors. I’d love to hear from you- enlighten me from what you’ve seen or know!