Consumer - Oriented Street Furniture Design: Effects on the Identity of Urban Landscapes
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This master's thesis aims to analyze the effects of street furniture on the identity of urban landscapes and to develop a corresponding consumer-centred street furniture design solution. An understanding of three key aspects is necessary for the development of consumer-oriented street furniture which positively creates or co-creates the identity of the public space. These three aspects are: i) the users' needs, preferences and perceptions; ii) meaning of, functions of, and interaction with street furniture; and iii) influence on the image and identity of the urban area. Historical overview, current trends, principles of street furniture design, criteria, consumer behaviour and behaviour of other stakeholders are presented in the chapter analysis and research. An overview of the most important principles of development of street furniture products - ergonomics, adaptability, inclusive design, modularity, bionics, eco-design, socialization and product life cycle - is also provided. The research and analysis consist of a literature review, survey, and concept evaluation by a multidisciplinary team of experts. First, key principles for the design of street furniture were identified based on the literature review and conducted the survey. Next, concepts were developed based on the survey and literature review findings. Last, following best practices in leading product design companies, these concepts were evaluated by a multidisciplinary group of experts in the fields of product design, architecture and urbanism, sociology, history of art, graphic design and local government. The evaluation was implemented through semi-structured interviews as part of which segmental grades and suggestions were developed for each concept. Based on the research, it can be concluded that the influence of street furniture on urban identity is twofold: through the creation of landmark and through the development of sentiment of belonging. Finally, the best-evaluated concept was developed, detailed and visually presented
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