Universal design in the tourism sector
By Lea Rollová
People with disabilities have the right to travel and they want to enjoy traveling and leisure experiences. However, their travel experiences are still characterized by transportation constraints, inaccessible accommodation and touristic sites, and inadequate customer services. There has been a call on the tourism providers to adopt Tourism to All principles as a foundation to achieve greater social sustainability. Providing accommodation and services in the tourism sector to youth, or socially deprived families can be achieved mainly through changes in the attitude of management of enterprises in this sector, but making accessible the facilities for clients with limited mobility or orientation disorders, requires change in architectural environments, buildings and products in tourism destinations. Principles of „Universal Design / Design for All“ should also be applied to a variety of public areas and services, including information services, such as transport, shops, cafes, restaurants, theaters, sports facilities and other places of entertainment. “Universal Design” is a design philosophy that envisions the built environment to be designed for the specific and changing needs of all clients, irrespective of their age, status and physical capabilities. The aim of this paper is to pay attention to the needs of disabled people with respect to special solutions in design of urban areas, public spaces, transportation, public buildings and products which are typical for tourist destinations. There are descriptions of requirements related to design of barrier-free hiking trails, accessible water surfaces as well as other attractive areas in the landscape. In the part “accessible public buildings” are named the basic requirements for the creation of accommodation facilities, exhibition spaces, auditoria, access devices for pools, dressing rooms for performers and athletes, etc. In conclusion, a system of implementation principles of the Tourism for All in Slovakia is proposed. Removing barriers in the environment is a long-term process and should be divided into several levels of implementation: the formulation and introduction of related legislation in order to protect the right of the disabled persons to access of facilities and environment, education and training on awareness and sensitivity to disability issues, provision of accessible facilities in the tourism sector, establishment of the system of certification for public buildings and products in order to motivate the owners / operators of accommodation and recreational facilities.
Only teaching will not do
By Branislav Jelenčík
The paper deals with effective training of graduates for their professional practice. It analyzes a group of critical criteria for the attractiveness of a graduate when applying for a job or work from the position of an entrepreneur, a freelancer specifically. A group of propositions resulting from an analysis is discussed in this paper. Preparing graduates for their professional practice is not only a topic of acquiring theoretical knowledge and practical skills provided by accredited courses. In practice, an employable and prospective graduate must present a group of complementary competencies (skills, habits, personal predispositions …). In the recruitment process, selection, and final signing of work contract with an applicant, the employees or recruitment companies use highly sophisticated methods and management systems to quickly detect real professional qualities of the applicant. If the school (faculty) ignores these methods and required criteria its graduates will increasingly recede from the opportunity to get a job related to the studied field. As a result, the reputation of the school will fall as well. The school must therefore not only teach the prescribed courses, but also educate and train for a smooth and seamless inclusion of its graduates into professional life. The school must constantly examine and possibly predict what the professional practice needs might be in the future.
Architecture of tree alleys: Historical tree alleys and protection of their values
By Katarína Kristiánová
Architectural design of buildings is usually a composition made up of inanimate traditional or modern materials, whereas landscape designs are composed mainly of plants, i.e. materials which are animate, breathing, growing, aging and dying. Trees in an architectural composition form a mass, volume and inner space. Like buildings, trees are long-lasting objects, which carry cultural heritage of generations and the country. Tree alleys as a specific composed linear spatial formation of trees in rows provide an unusual architectural, aesthetic and landscape forming potential. They are usually a part of a road in the country or settlement. Intentional planting of trees along the roads is known from several historic periods and cultures. A rich tradition of tree alleys can be also observed in our region. In the 18th and 19th centuries tree alleys became a significant element of landscape and a component in urban structures. In a contemporary urban structure with emphasis on economic aspects, tree alleys and their space requirements compete with spatial needs of traffic, infrastructure, street lightning, and exposure of buildings to the sun, etc. Tree alleys along the roads are often perceived as a burden for road maintenance and traffic safety. Historical tree alleys are a part of cultural heritage, which can be proved by many examples in Slovakia. The ways of their protection is an essential issue in the area of preservation of their cultural, historic and aesthetic values. Heritage Regulation and Nature and Landscape Protection Regulation are major legal documents that regulate protection and development of cultural and natural heritage, and set conditions for their identification, registration and preservation. In the interest of protecting diverse values of tree alleys it is appropriate to involve various instruments for setting conditions of their identification, registration and preservation, e.g. through land use planning. The methodology dealing with characteristic appearance of the landscape and the impact of its elements on the landscape scene has been rather unsuccessful in Slovakia. The mentioned examples of outstanding tree alleys in Slovakia and the described possible ways of their protection bring about the need to pay more attention to the issues of protection, maintenance and renovation of old tree alleys within the protection concepts of cultural, historic and aesthetic values of settlements and landscape greenery. Tree alleys are a significant phenomenon of landscape character and a hallmark of civilized landscape. They also carry a unique aesthetic, historic and cultural value; and they are a substance of the ambiance. However, they are not only a “spiritual element”. They present a physical component, which requires not only an identification of their values, but also a clearly defined set of proceedings for their preservation.
Mixed use in residential areas: Creating a comprehensive residential environment within the outer City. Comparative Study Bratislava – Stockholm
By Oľga Melcerová
In recent years the migration of population in Bratislava is influenced by the process of residential sub-urbanization. While during the last 20 years the total number of city inhabitants has decreased, there is a significant increase of population in some outer city boroughs that have enough free areas for development (mainly of agricultural land) as well as still retain the rural character. As combining advantages of living in the city and in the countryside, they have become very attractive and popular in terms of immigration. First, the comparative study analyses impacts of residential sub-urbanization on case of three Bratislava boroughs (Záhorská Bystrica, Vajnory a Rusovce) in which, since 1991, the number of inhabitants has increased the most. Detailed research of executed and planned residential development, considering the various qualitative aspects, have shown that all the analyzed housing projects have some common characteristics: monofunctionality (predominance of residential segment and absence of required facilities and job opportunities), insufficient transport connection by means of public transport, monotony and missing articulation and hierarchy of mass spatial structure, spatial isolation and related social segregation, small housing plots and tendencies for increasing the housing density, construction mainly in green fields with occupation of arable land and increasing environmental load by ineffective transformation of natural environment within the outer city. The possible solution for avoiding the above mentioned negative impacts of residential sub-urbanization on qualities of outer city could be the greater integration of other than residential segments within the housing areas – the mix of uses. Since the 50-ties of the 20th century, Stockholm, the capital of Sweden systematically develops the polycentric urban structure. Its strategy could be an inspiration for implementing the mixed use into residential environment in our conditions. Second, the study analyses the existing housing areas of Stockholm (Vällingby, Spånga, Kista) that could become a positive example for further development of outer city boroughs in Bratislava. A detailed research clearly shows benefits of mixed use development in relation to the residential function as e.g. providing the needed facilities, creating work places, reducing traffic demands, forming centers in nodal areas, supporting social control and increasing safety, using the land in effective way and saving the land resources. The main tool for implementation of mixed use in residential areas of Stockholm is a dynamic system of city planning that allows flexible reacting on actual situation and conditions as well as planning the new development in a dialog between the city, particular developers or investors and local residents. Application of the experience and the planning system of the city of Stockholm in conditions of Bratislava could contribute to transformation of mono-functional residential satellites into the comprehensive residential environment as well spread of qualitative urban structure into the areas of outer city with the positive impact on effectiveness of land use and city operation in terms of sustainability.
Psychology of the hospital environment
By Stanislav Majcher
Scientific studies point out that the feeling of psychic well-being can positively affect the patient ́s state of health; reduce the amount of the used anti-pain pills, and accelerate the healing process. Stress is an important psychic aspect in this process. Stress is a psychological and emotional process that negatively affects the neuro-hormonal, immunological, muscular and skeletal functions, that is all functions that participate in the healing process. The psyche plays an important role at the start of an illness, and it fundamentally affects the course and the healing process. The reason for this is the central nervous system that can be irritated by failure of psychological defense thus negatively affecting the immunological system. Improvement of the psychological well-being in hospitals is the core aspect of architectural design of hospital environments. A hospital should be understood as a complex of systems and wards where it is not possible to exclude any part when speaking of systematic architectural concepts. There are some scientific concepts that point out to the architectural functions in this respect. The Picker institute aims its activities to scientific research in the field of patient-centered care. Thus, the basic patient-oriented requirements of a suitable hospital environment have been defined.
Endo-parasitic algo-texture in the foyer of the Faculty of Architecture STU
By Michal Valúšek
The project solves the design and production of endo-parasitic algo-tecture in the foyer of the Faculty of Architecture Slovak University of Technology with the help of digital technique of scripting in Grasshopper and production technology 3D printing – Laser Sintering. It is a hybrid of multi-disciplinary research that provides new aspects of applying the principles of mathematics, computer geometry, manufacturing technology and artistic aesthetics on the platform of architectural design of complex forms. This creative process represents the knowledge of the parametric design and looks for the optimal solutions of a difficult architectural composition, which is also shown on a physical model done on the appropriate level of professionalism.