Parc La Salvaora : a design proposal exploring the aesthetics of place-related curiosity
Sammanfattning: Architects are constantly faced with having to make aesthetic decisions. Big decisions – like a project’s overall aesthetic character – or small, yet important decisions regarding individual details, without which the aesthetic entirety of the design would be compromised. Making these decisions is a skill that is developed and honed throughout architecture school and later in professional life. This development happens mainly through a combination of gained experience, references, and development of taste – something that makes aesthetic decision-making a difficult thing to teach. When the architect has decided on an aesthetic vision – how do they ensure that the intended aesthetic experience is realized and mediated to the users of the architecture? What factors are essential for a successful rendering of the artistic vision? This thesis explores, among other things, how theory can inform the creative process and help architects (and other creatives) make more informed and intentional aesthetic decisions. The theory used is Nick Zangwill’s Aesthetic Creation Theory (ACT), which describes the process of artistic creation and the nature of aesthetic value. One of the aims of the thesis is to explore how ACT can inform the design process so that the desired aesthetic, and its functions, are realized. This is done by applying the theory as a framework for the designing of a neighborhood park. The project site is a derelict factory plot in the old brick industry area Els Rajolars, located on the southern outskirts of the Valencian coastal town of Oliva (Spain). There are currently developing plans in the making for Els Rajolars and the proposal made in this thesis is meant as a suggestion for an early-stage intervention to activate the area and create engagement towards its future development, among the community. This activation is particularly relevant with regard to the area’s current lack of functional public spaces. The design part of the thesis is an attempt at identifying, and through landscape design mediating an aesthetic of place-related curiosity. Curiosness is chosen as an aesthetic in merit of its connection to interest and care – two emotional states relevant for creating engagement. The final design proposal for the park is to a large extent based on strategies of creative reuse and features facilities for public dialogue, cultural events, movement, education, and festivities.
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