Rethinking A Lot: The Design and Culture of Parking | Archana Sharma
LA 43
With land having become a scarce and valuable resource, Eran Ben Joseph takes a look at the current condition of parking and how it can be bettered, made more efficient and aesthetic. This paves the way for critical debate on the role parking lots play in the urban fabric of a city and proposes program based design interventions that may transform our everyday perception of these lots.
BOOK: Rethinking A Lot
AUTHOR- Eran Ben-Joseph
PUBLISHER- The MIT Press, 2012
That, space hogging by car parking lots is an issue that needs attention, is a moot point, so what is the book "Re-thinking a Lot: the design and culture of parking" trying to accomplish? The book serves as a reminder on "potential for design innovation, future change and modification, environmental and cultural promise" latent in car parking lots. The history and culture of the concrete expressions of our reliance on automobiles and dispersive urban planning are well reviewed in this book.

When Kevin Lynch and Christopher Alexander raised questions related to the parking lot, through their respective books - The Image of the City (MIT Press, 1960) and Pattern Language (Oxford University Press, 1977), the frame was that of investigating the psyche of human society as represented through evolution of city and its components. This book raises questions of a different genre to Lynch's and Alexander's, more of a pragmatic kind that want to resolve functional issues through thoughts on critical design thinking. For example, some questions answered through this book are: can parking lots be designed to be more attractive? Can they accommodate more cars? Can the integration into our built environment be such that it is enjoyable? What can we learn from studying user behaviour? Are there any car parking lots that can be regarded as exemplary? The questions are relevant but not over achingly ambitious.


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