Planes, trains, and automobiles....and bikes and feet and wheelchairs... Architects care not only about buildings, but also about how people move from place to place between them! We do this in two basic ways: by designing structures that house access to modes of travel, like train stations, airports, and bus hubs, and by addressing infrastructure and how design of public streets and environments can encourage walking, cycling, or light rail.
The design of cities spurs people to move in different ways. Historically, cities consisted of what architects and real estate developers call mixed use, places where commerce and living co-exist. In the 19th and 20th centuries, as cities and industrialization grew, many people moved to suburban neighborhoods on the urban periphery but still worked in city centers; getting back and forth became a more complicated, time-consuming process and transportation planners focused primarily on automobile travel as the solution.
Now, as obesity rates and gasoline prices have both significantly increased, more people appreciate the ease and health benefits of travel by means other than private car and seek to live in urban areas that offer these kinds of relationships. Where are the most expensive places to live nowadays in the United States? Urban centers in places like San Francisco, Chicago, or New York — all home to extensive public transportation networks and great public parks and spaces that are easy for everyone to get to.
Architecture students and faculty study and design how transportation works with buildings, communities, and regions. Here are examples of their projects and ideas...
Image 1 & 2 > Rather than beautifying the ugly, the proposed CERN Node Network seeks for the beauty or potential within the ugly and problematic.
Image 3 > This was a one week exercise to design an object that responds to an urban condition or community. The bicycle culture in Tucson is often overlooked and this simple, deployable structure can be placed within urban fabric in places where the cycling community is active.
Image 4 & 5 > The study outlines strategic principles for transit service expansion and improvement and focuses on the design of the Choctaw Transit infrastructure and its potential to generate civic development.
Image 6 & 7 > The old train in Puerto Rico provides an opportunity to explore how a mark in the landscape recalls the collective memory.
Image 8 > A proposal for the development of aid posts in areas of Haiti that have been destroy by the earthquake and other empty lots within Port Au Prince.
Image 9 & 10 > Tetherpoint reconsiders the role and function of a conventional bicycle rack within a dense downtown urban environment.