Can design influence the user to live sustainably?

The origins of our thesis question come from the idea that everything around us is designed - systems, structures, objects. All of these things impact how we live: it may influence our decisions, what we buy, how we move in a space etc. As designers we respond to the needs of the user - and what does the user need to do today? Live in a more sustainable manner. Therefore we ask whether we can design to influence people to live more sustainably - being more socially, environmentally and economically conscious.

Our proposal ‘Crooked Square’ is situated in Preston, and is a new mixed use building which also provides public and private external spaces.  The building encompasses residential and commercial (retail, leisure, office) functions, creating a scheme that people can live, work and socialise within - all with a sustainable focus. The building envelopes ‘Crooked Square’, offering a new public square in Preston. This vibrant space will be used for a range of events throughout the year, as well as being an exciting and welcoming entry into Preston from the Grade II Listed Bus Station.

Although the scale of our scheme is significant, the concepts we have applied are perceived at a variety of scales by the occupant, to evoke specific perceptions and emotions as the building is experienced. With the intent to ultimately influence one’s disposition towards a sustainable outlook. These perceptions have been carefully tailored towards creating a design which directly responds to Preston and its people, fundamentally creating a place that belong to the people, and in turn fostering a community.