2014 Inception Award | Lucy Corones

The Junction by Lucy Corones

The proposal

The Junction is a “low-tech” lifestyle hotel, restaurant and co-working space. It offers users the opportunity to disconnect from technological dependency and re-engage with their physical surroundings and experiences.

research basis

Three streams of research have led to the final design proposal.
1) Travel; the essence of travel is the discovery of new experiences, and human interaction plays an important role in this journey. The memories we form while travelling are profoundly influenced by our interactions with others. However the way we travel and engage with those we meet is changing, in part due to the role that technology now plays in our everyday lives.

2) Technology; it has had an indelible impact on civilisation, however it is breeding a culture of distraction and as a result we have a crisis of attention. Our ability for meaningful engagement with each other is diminished, and ultimately social sustainability is at risk. As we become more ingrained in multitasking and fall deeper into the world of social media, technology is rewiring our brains. We no longer recognise the value of gap time or face to face interaction, as our days are filled with endless multitasking and social media. Gap time allows the brain time to form new thoughts, rather than succumb to the endless churn of information that surrounds us. “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” (Plutarch)

3) Wellbeing; as our dependence on technology grows, and modern life confines us indoors more than ever, our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing is affected. Around us, the urban landscape becomes denser and citizens have less opportunity to disconnect from the built environment. Studies have shown the beneficial effect of the natural environment on stress levels, memory and productivity. Biophilia provides a strong grounding for the thoughtful inclusion of nature within the built environment.

Aim

To create a physical environment which engages users through sensory stimulation and offers opportunities for human connection, in turn supporting social sustainability.

Objectives:

  • Create settings which support various levels of user engagement
  • Embed hotel within the local community
  • Provide pivot points of exchange between locals and travellers
  • Create sensorially rich environment as a means of re-engagement with physical over digital
  • Give users pause for consideration and opportunities for mindfulness

Realisation

The research is realised in several key aspects. The broader design language is informed by urban forms, and the way human movement is shaped in the built environment. This is overlaid with the Brisbane architectural vernacular to reference the city’s sense of place. Planting is interspersed throughout the ‘buildings’, softening these forms and creating sticky spaces for multi-user engagement or individual reflection. The ‘buildings’ form in-between spaces, which become active pathways of travel. A range of spaces offer opportunities for interaction at varying levels of engagement. Traditional hotel zoning is re-imagined into a transparent and informal arrangement, allowing users of both public and private spaces greater reach within the building. Technology is minimal, and in its place are activities that aim to engage the user in conversing, gathering, eating and sharing. The existing building fabric is refitted with transparent elements to allow for natural lighting and ventilation, activating the space with natural rhythms. Key themes of layering and transitions are expressed on macro and micro levels, through screening, thresholds and vistas.

REFERENCES

Buro, Karen, Andrew J. Howell, Raelyne L. Dopko, Holli-Anne Passmore. 2011. Nature connectedness: Associations with well-being and mindfulness, Personality and Individual Differences, 51(2); 166-171

Carr, N. 2008, ‘Is Google Making Us Stupid?’, Yearbook Of The National Society For The Study Of Education (Wiley-Blackwell), 107(2); 89-94

Duff, Brittany R.L,Gunwoo Yoon, Zongyuan (Glenn) Wang, George Anghelcev. 2014. “Doing It All: An Exploratory Study of Predictors of Media Multitasking.” Journal of Interactive Advertising 14(1)

MacKerron, George, Susana Mourato, Happiness is greater in natural environments, Global Environmental Change, Volume 23(5); 992-1000

Keegan, S. 2012, “Digital technologies are re-shaping our brains”, Qualitative Market Research, 15(3); 328-346.

TED. 2012. “Connected, but alone?” Accessed August 8, 2014. http://www.ted.com/ talks/sherry_turkle_alone_ together?language=en

Tschumi, Bernard. 2005. Event- Cities 3: Concept vs. Context vs. Content. MIT Press.

Wilson, Edward E O. 1990. Biophilia. Cambridge, Mass.