Approach

We work across a range of scales within urban areas, our projects range from public space designs to public realm surveys to larger scale documentary film based research. All of our work engages directly with people and the local context of a place, here is an outline of some of the work we do and services we offer.


 

Public Space Designs

Our public space designs combine formal placemaking components with informal participatory spaces to create places that foster deep connections with their surrounding communities. The results are inclusive people centred spaces that are open to multiple different uses and users. Over the past years we have developed extensive experience in designing Playscapes – public spaces where play is integrated into every aspect of the design.

Deltaplantsoen dmau + Openfabric 2016 low-6


Public realm – Public life surveys

What is a public realm – public life survey?

It is a site analysis that is based on the working methods developed by the urban theorists and designers William H. Whyte and Jan Gehl. The survey primarily measures: how people use a space, the activities that take place in the space, their duration and the length of stays. People linger for longer in higher quality public spaces, and by measuring this “staying time” we have a key variable that reflects on the quality of the public space.

Next to this we can analyse the quality and character of a place, defining a series of recommendations for improvement and design that can inform future design briefs.

Public Life Survey

How do we conduct a survey?

To conduct a survey we spend time in a place and combine observational analysis with documentary film and photography recordings. Observational records use mapping drawings to record behaviour and headcounts. Timelapse film and photography record patterns over longer periods and identify changes in activity levels over time. Documentary film can record the character and unique issues of an area interviewing residents and engaging with the local community. From this data and visual information we will create a detailed report that provides key baseline data about the location and its everyday use and users, alongside a series of recommendations for public realm improvements.

How can the survey results be used?

Public life survey results contain information about outdoor activity and uses, pedestrian behaviour and flows, location maps, imagery and feedback from local people. Which is all essential baseline data for public space research and design projects from both a client and design perspective. It provides variables that can be re-measured throughout the scope of the project so one can judge how interventions are working or quickly test how the space could be configured.

dmau_kit_2014


 

Filmmaking and Research

Filmmaking is integral to the way we capture and understand how cities and places work. Our film work focuses on stories about places and communities, we tell these stories with a strong emphasis on the visual characteristics of the place intertwined with personal character-driven portraits. We can capture the diversity of larger urban areas by connecting and listening to people on the ground. Our documentaries have been screened at a number of international festivals.

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