Cities have meanings. Just like people they have souls, emotions, and feelings. Is it the people then who, through communicating their values, create the soul of a place?
The soul is another word for identity (The Design Council, 1995), a synonym for brand. People and places have reputations which are built either through history or influenced by other factors and communicated to the world through different media. What, however, makes a city (or a person) special?
“Convinced that no experience is ever bad, I see the positive aspects of all places”
I decided to explore my city by walking. Throughout the journey, I have been admiring different aspects of my surroundings, I explored some new locations – some safe, some dangerous. Convinced that no experience is ever bad, I try to see the positive aspects of all the places I walked through.
The structure of cities has been developing over centuries. We have seen the transformation of multiple places from industrial hubs to modern places. Modernity (Baudelaire, 1964) has taken over tradition, changing the looks and functions of once-used-to-be villages. Long forgotten are the factories, many of which are now transformed into luxurious apartments and open-plan offices occupied by homogenous people with homogenous interests.
“Accuracy is something we designed our machines for.”
China has replaced homemade and automatic now stands for perfect. Accuracy is something we designed our machines for, yet there are plenty of reasons why their presence can have a negative impact on our lives, especially in the cities – from pollution, over job losses, to creativity degradation.
The society has changed which is only noticeable after a careful observation. We tend to ignore regular things, such as mobile phones and public transport, without which we would not be where we are today. Therefore, nothing should be taken for granted and we should always question how has our society developed into the sophisticated form we live in today.
Baudelaire, C. (1964). The painter of modern life and other essays. 1st ed. London: Phaidon Press
The Design Council (1995) The New guide to identity. 4th ed. Gower: Gower Publishing Limited