How can material design facilitate humans’ co-existence in shared urban space? This thesis is a study of public social life, addressing issues about how and by what means people meet and cluster in urban domains. The overarching concern is how materialities may contribute to a more inclusive and multifarious public life.
A series of empirical investigations were completed as field studies of a selection of public spaces, primarily in London, Amsterdam and Paris. Based on the empirical findings, a number of concepts are developed and determined effective as tools for the analysis of public life, as well as for providing operative approaches to urban design practices.