Reception of space: Inspiring design without a designer

Yihua Huang, Kin Wai Michael Siu

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


Designers nowadays consider themselves as the only experts to have conceptualized the everyday practice of the ordinary. They deal with design at a fantastic pace, with the aim of satisfying "public interest" instead of designing for individual users. For instance, with the reclaimed area of Hong Kong, which has been transformed into a public space dedicated to facilitate the vibrant transformation of Hong Kong into a world city, the government constantly set up strategies assuming a standardized user practice in order to achieve legislative approval for the project. Actually, the processes of conceptualization and standardization may not sufficiently summarize the specifications of everyday life. In other words, current ways of design based on public interest do not always meet what users actually want and need, since these design methods tend to identify all users as "average people" within standard dimensions. Nevertheless, what we are given every day is an everyday life that is not "banal and meaningless." The acts of city users cannot be defined merely as mechanical or according to a stereotype. Although users' reactions or responses to their living environments have been changed gradually with the urban transformation, their behaviours are not simply passive reactions or responses to space, but a kind of active reception in the creative acts or art performed by city users in the space. This research mainly elaborates on the "reception of space" in order to inspire design generations without a designer, and bring designers, planners, administrators, and government a perspective of user-oriented design. It includes an empirical study with intensive observations and direct interviews in Wan Chai North and South to review the importance of considering everyday life in design, based on users' tactical and creative receptions of public living environments. The study then redefines the role of city users in the urban spaces in which they practice and exercise, and argues that users of urban space require that designs be more inclusive.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCross-Cultural Design
Subtitle of host publicationMethods, Practice, and Case Studies - 5th International Conference, CCD 2013, Held as Part of HCI International 2013, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages10
EditionPART 1
ISBN (Print)9783642391422
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Event5th International Conference on Cross-Cultural Design: Methods, Practice, and Case Studies, CCD 2013, Held as Part of HCI International 2013 - Las Vegas, NV, United States
Duration: 21 Jul 201326 Jul 2013

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
NumberPART 1
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference5th International Conference on Cross-Cultural Design: Methods, Practice, and Case Studies, CCD 2013, Held as Part of HCI International 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLas Vegas, NV


  • City Users
  • Everyday Space
  • Reception
  • User-oriented Design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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