Jane Jacobs described the life on the sidewalks of New York City’s as an “intricate ballet” in which we all have individual parts that together compose an orderly whole.
The daily ballet performed on the city sidewalk is full of unplanned improvisation. With so many variables at play, design can't strictly dictate movement through a space but can direct it by suggesting a possible course of action. Stairs, walls and openings allow us to create rivers of activity, pools of quiet, and create opportunities for spontaneous interaction.
Our cities and movements are more choreographed than we think. The more successfully designed spaces invite you into the dance, bringing us together in an exchange with each other and the space.
What if sensing systems and computer networks could help us better map this choreography, allowing users to actively shape their environments as they pass through them? We may see more of this in the future, and until then we hope to continue to make the kind of spaces that just might inspire a dance step or two.