The pedestrian looks

From workinprogresswiki

Colin Ellard's book 'Places of the Heart' contains interesting references to the optimal visual stimulation for people walking about cities. For example, Jan Gehl's assertion that someone walking through a city should have something interesting to look at roughly every five seconds. (Citing research showing that places with blank/closed facades are hurried through more quickly) Source: sci-hub DOT se /

Gehl calls this "close-encounter architecture", or "5km/hour architecture" in contrast to large-scale, blank-faced motorist-oriented "60km/architecture" which has often erroneously been introduced into parts of cities which pedestrians must use.

What would 5km/hour architecture look like in terms of mural art?

anamorphic perspective

This is a great antidote to car-centric design as it can /only/ be perceived when standing absolutely still! An academic article discussing the role of the observer in anamorphic art past & present: sci-hub DOT se / Some examples & how-to's:


Felici Varini, Swiss anamorphic artist: Felice-Varini-Broken-Hall-2.jpg

Typography for viewing at speed

There are a range of fonts used for road markings, which take into account the foreshortening effect of rapid forward motion in a vehicle. One such is the 'Pavement' typeface in the uk. pavement.gif

In reality most road markings are hand-painted, in an intricate physical dance using VERY oldfashioned tools, and a pre-set grid sizing system, as in this demo:

Love how craft-based and thoroughly pedestrian this high-speed typography is. Lovely contrast.

('Transport' is the non-elongated standard font for motorway signage: )

The Modulor


Generating grid systems from the human body. Although this time, from womens and childrens bodies too! And the measurements perhaps of shopping bags, buggies and the long gone cows.

An article on The Modulor & its antecedents in studies of the golden section etc's_Modulor_and_the_Debate_on_Proportion_in_France

Demo of fibonaci sequence used to generate nesting rectangles:


See also Jean Lurcat for another, expressionist-inspired, designer who wrote about proportions in architecture

& Neufert's 'Architect's Data': another Modernist tome of architects' reference proportions of the human body:

&& Alfred Neumann, author of 'L'humanisation de l'espace'


...and then we have all the feminist & antiracist responses to Vitruvian Man,

ORLAN, "MesuRagede la Place Saint-Lambert, à Liège, Belgique" (1980) -measuring public spaces with crawling female body:


to Rebecca Horn


Thumb1-3.jpg Thumb4-2.jpg

Carlos Martiel


Janine Antoni


breaking solid surfaces with illusions

Phillip K. Smith, 'Lucid stead': Phillip-K.-Smith-III.jpg