by Miao-Mei Pasutti
What is ‘the urban,’ the urban is not a certain population, a geographic size, or a collection of buildings. This case study explores the information behind a bus shelter located in West Seattle by looking around at the benches, trash cans, ads, paintings on the shelter, the bus stops, the bus schedules and transfer tickets. These micro-scale streetscapes reveal landscapes of power in historical, urban and cultural contexts, which surrounds in our everyday life that is difficult to decode due to its fundamental ambiguity.
Everyday Urbanism is non-utopian or atopian, conversational, and non-structuralist. It is non-utopian because it celebrates and builds on everyday, ordinary life and reality, with little pretense about the possibility of a perfectible, tidy or ideal built environment.
Form and function are seen to be connected in a very loose way that highlights culture more than design as a determinant of behavior. Vernacular and street architecture in vibrant, ethnic neighborhoods are held up as one instructive model or a point of departure.