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Cities and Images

Bahar Aksel

Man has always tried to create better tools to satisfy his needs since the very first day he began to use tools. Changing needs were followed by changing tools, and developing technology brought about more advanced tools. Developments in production technologies resulted in important socio-economical and political changes. Besides their economical and political outcomes, Enlightenment and modernism created their most visible expressions in such disciplines as design, architecture and planning. The dominant approach of the period designed idealized products and spaces abstracted from tradition, culture and emotions. However, products constructed according to emotions and 'ideal solution' approaches of the designer could not relate with the users in the same way.

This period was criticized for ignoring both the culture of the users and the socio-psycological dimensions of products. Even studies on this were held. Especially cities and living spaces, regulations and social dimensions of physical structures were emphasized. The most important studies were on cognitive perceptions of living spaces, processes of image constitution, and determination of effective structural elements in perceptual knowledge.

Modern individual encounters many objects/products in h/er daily life. Some of them satisfy needs by an individual relationship with the user, while some others are a part of a greater totality such as street furnitures used in public space. Street furnitures, after being designed, take their place in the city to serve people in satisfying their cognitive needs besides functional ones. The main subject of this paper is how a product designed according to emotional approaches of a small group finds its place in the public, and what the role of these products are in the collective memory, in the city which is a unity of many meanings and images.


City planning, city identity, street furnitures, public good