Building a sense of belonging: exploring the design relationship between people and places

DProf thesis

Hall, R. 2017. Building a sense of belonging: exploring the design relationship between people and places. DProf thesis Middlesex University Institute for Work Based Learning
TypeDProf thesis
Doctorate by public works thesis
TitleBuilding a sense of belonging: exploring the design relationship between people and places
AuthorsHall, R.

This document has two ambitious goals.
The first is to establish an understanding of a phrase that has enormous relevance to us all. It is a phrase that some have said is a mystery, about which we can gain insight, but not ultimately define. It is also a phrase that, when experienced, can enable each one of us to touch the seeming infinite, if not the very reason for living and then even for life itself. That phrase embraces the word on the young man’s surfboard. It is ‘a sense of belonging’.
The second is to explore how to enable that sense of belonging to be experienced by as many people as possible in as many arenas as possible. That exploration is particularly relevant to my own
practitioner disciplines of Architecture, Planning, Interior Design and Development Facilitation. Its focus, therefore, is how to design buildings, both internally and externally, where people can
Such belonging can be experienced by people as individuals. It can be experienced when individual people share a relationship with another. It can be evident in large gatherings of people who share
an identity locally, as well as nationally. That belonging can also be there in the way we as individuals, as well as communities, relate to the places, large and small, in which we live our lives.
The contents have been through many iterations and revisions, both during the subject-defining stage of the Professional Doctorate programme and then when defining the response as a Context
Statement of the many public works referenced. There are three main sections, as follows:
a) An Introduction that sets out my objectives when reviewing my professional practice and the method adopted in preparing the document which then follows.
b) A Context Statement that includes examples of my professional work over a period of some 50 years as a practitioner. All of those examples are in the public arena. All are also my response to what became my life’s goal of enabling a sense of belonging through design.
c) A Teaching Tool Kit that followed my Viva, knowing I may now have sufficient experience of theory applied in practice to be able to teach others. This final section is, therefore,preparation towards doing so.

Research GroupWork and Learning Research Centre
Department nameInstitute for Work Based Learning
Institution nameMiddlesex University
Publication dates
Print17 Nov 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Nov 2017
Accepted08 Nov 2017
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
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