By defining entrances, creating pathways, and making motion part of the design, we give space a tempo and rhythm that allows a narrative to unfold over time.

Paley Park in New York City uses three steps to both separate you from the street and invite you in.

Sometimes you are the dancer, sometimes you observe the dance.​ Some spaces are so well choreographed they support both of these roles.

“Are we the actors? Or are the actors the people we're looking at? What's thrilling is when it flips back and forth.”

David Rockwell

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.

Elinor Bunin Monroe Film center invites you in with its welcoming glow and street-level entrance.

At the Film Society at Lincoln Center, a parade of lights guides visitors to the street-level entrance.

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.

At the 2008 Venice Biennale, we mapped and revealed visitor movement in real-time.

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.

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