Museums in the 21st century: Innovative forms of exhibitions for children
By Natália Filová, Lea Rollová
In the past few decades, we have experienced a significant development of construction and renovation of various museums worldwide. At present, museums, galleries, but also partial or temporary exhibitions tend to focus more and more on attracting the interest of children. A distinctive feature of children’s museums and exhibitions is that, unlike in traditional museums, visitors are allowed, even encouraged, to touch exhibits, perceive exhibitions not only visually, but through multiple senses, and be actively involved in the handling of exhibits, often with support of information technology. The analyzed case studies of the visited exhibitions in Austria, mainly for children, present a variety of solutions utilized by this type of institution. Particular attention is paid to the educational potential, the atmosphere of the exhibitions, and the ways of creating and adjusting the exhibition space for all visitors, including people with special needs are explored. The aforementioned attributes were chosen for the great importance they have in the role of children’s museums, whose purpose is to educate and “shape” their visitors, offer memorable experiences through the creation of unique atmosphere and their modern goal is also to support the inclusion of children with health limitations. These examples are intended to serve as inspirational architectural and design options for the presentation of exhibitions, as these museums primarily highlight the positive elements and introduce the options for adapting some of the exhibition segments to better accommodate the needs of people with disabilities. Four museum exhibitions in Vienna dedicated to children were selected for the comparison. This location was chosen due to its inspiring nature, high quality of local exhibitions and museums for children visitors, as well as due to its geographical and cultural proximity to the Slovak environment. Based on the acquired information, the paper also suggests potential areas for further research concerning mainly the possibility to divide the museum space for children into sections, as well as suitable routing of exhibitions in order to achieve a playful, inclusive and educational architectural space.
Environmental contextualization in defining eco-aesthetics of interior components
By Magdalena Celadyn
The paper analyses a concept of interior architectural design called Design for formal and physical minimalism DfFPM derived from environmental contextualization. It is to accomplish the sustainable design strategy of resources’ effectiveness and to identify the attributes of eco-aesthetics of indoor environment. The analysis is based on the comparative case studies of interiors of commercial spaces completed recently. It is intended to juxtapose primary and complementary functions of components, their forms, methods of completion, as well as selected sustainable design strategies to comply with. The main purpose of the paper is to present restraints in the quantitative selection of materials for interior components, as a stimulating factor to define the features of ecological aesthetics, and thus to confirm the potential of Design for formal and physical minimalism in shaping of sustainable indoor environment.
The recognition of the environmental context in the formation of interiors and their components is confirmed by: 1) consideration of multidimensional impacts of interior components, understood as spatial and functional structures shaping the indoor environment on natural surrounding with emphasis on every phase of their life cycle; 2) respect for the interconnectedness and interdependency of indoor and natural environments; and 3) prevision of the consequences of relationship between designed and natural environments to minimize the negative results of this coexistence, and to create interiors of high environmental performance.
The possible implications of environmental contextualization in the design methodology for interior components, being mostly promising in terms of sustainable interior architectural design, combine the following: 1) shaping of the components of interior spaces as environmentally oriented function components; 2) adjustments in the existing behavioural model, as well as stimulation of pro-environmental schemes among the occupants of indoor environment with interior components as specific design tools to achieve it; and 3) development of criteria defining the eco-aesthetics of man-made environment and interior architectural design methods. The questions proposed regarding the latter involve: 1) accomplishment of the biophilic concept in the environmental integration of interior components and natural surrounding; 2) development of interior architectural design to comply with the adaptive reuse concept, in its physical and semantic perspectives; and 3) inclusion of restraints in formal solutions and physical aspects of designed components, as incentives for the innovative design methods and outlining of eco-aesthetics.
The question of control over the quantity of resources, and its influence on the development of an environmentally-related aesthetic category, are enclosed in the concept of interior architectural Design for Formal and Physical Minimalism, discussed in this paper. This design scheme, realized through the restricted usage of resources, presents the design strategies for sustainable interior components in defining of eco-aesthetic features. Design strategies comprise dematerialization and deconstruction, both directly related to the requirement of effective management of resources, as well as the model of multi-functionality of interior components. The latter refers to the question of optimization in the use of inner space and reduction of used building materials and products. The eco-aesthetic features assigned to interior components comprise: essence of usefulness and final appearance; intended lack of precision in workmanship; honest materiality; structural honesty; formal integration of structure and finishing; rawness; roughness. Design techniques and tools applied by designers offer the observers a strong experience of artefacts’ materiality, tangibility, texture and weight. These multi-sensual experiences endorse the pro-environmental statement enclosed in the components of indoor environment and stimulate changes in behavioural models of end-users’. The aesthetic occurrence of environmentally sustainable interiors and their components is defined by their experiential perception based on the users’ engagement in denoting of objects’ forms, structures and physical properties. Thus, the multi-dimensional, emotional, sensorial, as well as intellectual effects on the occupants of interior spaces reveal the inclusiveness of eco-aesthetics.
Bratislava, (un)planned city: Notes on the study and interpretation of the history of city planning and construction
By Henrieta Moravčíková
In Slovakia, after 1989, there were dramatic changes in the field of town-planning, which were conditioned by the change in social conditions, but also by the change of paradigm in the field of planning and regulation of construction in the city. Practically in the whole of Czechoslovakia, this meant a rejection of modernist urban practice. In Bratislava, this phenomenon manifested itself extremely intensively. Within a few years, the planning institutions that have been developed for decades disappeared. This development, reflecting deep doubts about the meaningfulness of planning in the context of a market economy, coincided with increasing construction investment and growing demands for decision-making processes related to new construction. This was no longer the result of the planned economy, but a manifestation of the free market. Bratislava once again faced the situation as many times in the past, when private investors demanded quick decisions and clear construction guidelines, which, however, they did not receive from the city council and the city planning department. Bratislava expanded, rebuilt and densified more or less ad hoc. In the most critical period of the first decade of the new millennium, this trend even brought the Slovak capital the adjective of an unintentional or unplanned city.
In parallel with the growing criticism of the events of that time, there were also growing efforts to take a holistic view of the issue of city planning and construction. At the same time, glimpses into the past indicated that the first precondition for dealing with this situation would be an analysis of the history of modern planning and construction in Bratislava. At the same time, it was clear that there was an opportunity for a more ambitious task than a standard history.
The study analyses the starting points, methodological tools and results of research carried out by a team of architects and historians of architecture since 2014 under the guidance of the author of this text. It describes the current situation in the field of urban research, with an emphasis on examining the morphology of urban structure. It draws attention to the line of current research, which understands the city as an open work with the potential of a number of development possibilities, which at the same time cannot be perfectly guided or coordinated. This trend is followed by the presented research of Bratislava, which aims to approach the history of modern planning in Bratislava, to reveal and describe the relationship between planning and construction, to define architectural and urban concepts and paradigms relevant to Bratislava’s urban structure, to examine selected examples of their application in the material structure of the city and on their basis to reveal the laws of its development. The phenomenon of an unplanned city served as a research premise.
Virtual reality and its application in transport design
By Filip Maukš
This article focuses on the use of virtual and mixed reality in transport design. The advancement in virtual reality hardware and software also enables more extensive use of this technology in the design process. The possibility to visualize new designs in real scale is especially useful with larger objects, such as cars and motorbikes, in case of which the preparation of a physical model would require a significant amount of resources and work hours. Another advantage of virtual reality is the wide range of options for data configuration. 3D data of a new car exterior can be visualized through VR software in various colors and materials. Models can be placed and viewed in a studio or any outdoor environment. It is also possible to change individual shapes and elements in real time (e.g. lights, bumpers, etc.) and thus review design variants in a faster and more efficient manner. We can come across similar configurators on the websites of car manufacturers, where a customer can give exact specifications, based on which the configurator generates a rendering of the new car’s exterior and interior. A car interior must be shaped to accommodate ergonomic requirements of a human body and, what is more, it also comprises user interface for human-machine interaction. When testing car interior designs in virtual reality, an ergonomically adjustable construction – a simulator is used. Modular simulators offer various levels of complexity. The primary feature of the simulator is its synchronization with virtual data. The person sitting inside the simulator can experience the new design in virtual reality and they are able to interact with it through the physical simulator. In this mixed reality scenario, virtual steering wheel lines up with its physical counterpart to provide haptic feedback. The technology that combines the physical simulator with 3D digital data is applied in the author’s doctoral thesis to visualize new motorcycle designs. A variable motorcycle simulator was constructed for the purpose of simulating ergonomics of various types of motorcycles.