Between Architecture & People
A Copenhagen-based design studio that works at the intersection of psychology, architecture and art. We design spaces for personal development to inspire new habits. Our approach is to draw attention to the overlooked in the everyday.
‘BAP designs surroundings that stimulate personal development by activating your body and senses and inviting you to explore and question the usual. We believe that becoming more sensitive to your surroundings and exploring everyday spaces is the key to any development – from more balanced relationships at home or at work, to new feelings and habits for the city of tomorrow.’
Polina Chebotareva, psychologist and designer, Co-founder of BAP
Questions and Answers
How can a road crossing become a space for multisensory awareness?
To find an answer to this question, BAP developed the installation Urban Carpet in collaboration with Elias Melvin Christiansen. Urban Carpet was installed in front of the central train station in Aarhus, Denmark, and was part of Aarhus Festuge 2018. Urban Carpet is a carpet-like wooden structure that covered the refuge island of the road-crossing. The installation made people more aware of their body while crossing the road. As people awaited the green light, they tapped their feet and looked around. The overlooked space in the middle of the road became felt and visible. The installation was realized with support from Aarhus School of Architecture. The project was exhibited at DAC in Copenhagen in 2018.
How can urban landscapes draw attention to the impact of human activity on climate?
There are many initiatives to understand the impact of human activity on climate change and how it can be communicated. But little is known about how spatial design can stimulate people to develop a felt understanding of their impact on climate change. BAP is currently exploring this topic as co-initiator and coordinator of an international and interdisciplinary research network. The network meets to discuss this question in a series of three workshops in Aarhus, Denmark in 2018, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2019, and Anchorage, Alaska, in 2020. The workshops are organized with the Anthropocene research group at the Aarhus School of Architecture and collaborating partners. Workshop participants include architects, landscape architects, artists, curators and theorists from Denmark, Germany, France, Ethiopia, Norway, America. The project is supported by Dansk Frie Forskningsfund.
Read more here.
How can your home reflect on and develop your personal relationship?
BAP found an answer to this question when designing the home interior for M+S, a couple who had just moved in together for the first time. Our approach to the interior design did not focus on creating a mood or style that was chosen together with M+S. In fact, we didn’t buy any new furniture or decorative objects. Instead we used existing furniture to create a home that stimulated M+S to develop new habits together as a couple. We began with conversations that helped M+S to reflect upon the role of their home in both of their lives, the meaning of their things and furniture, and the individual differences between M and S. Then, we materialized these reflections into a spatial organization that made room for their differences and drew attention to shared meanings.
How can architects work with aesthetics to empower people?
This is the question upon which BAP was founded and the cornerstone of our approach. For BAP, aesthetics are more than form and judgement of style – aesthetics are a catalyst of change. If aesthetics of a space are understood as its atmosphere – the multisensory perception of the surroundings – and the space is designed to increase individual exploration, then people’s possibilities for interaction and engagement with the space are increased. This is how BAP understands the empowering role of aesthetics. BAP is developing a better understanding of this through the PhD research project at Aarhus School of Architecture.
Read more about it here and here.
BAP uses this understanding of aesthetics in all design projects and also applies it when working in collaborations. Currently we are applying it to develop a new version of the Sense Membranes with Isak Worre Foged and Anke Pasold at Area Studio.
In 2018 we explored our approach to aesthetics in a group exhibition at Godbanen in Aarhus. By charring tree trunks and placing them in overlooked spots of the exhibition space, we stimulated visitors to look beyond the exhibited objects and explore the atmosphere.
How can engagement in urban space be catalyzed through design?
BAPs answer is based on our understanding of the empowering role of aesthetics. People need to feel, taste and smell the built environment before they can engage and commit to its future development. In 2017 BAP helped to develop the social engagement strategy for the ‘Stage’ project by Kuba Snopek and Kultura Medialna in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, and developed the social engagement strategy and design direction for the ‘Gary’s vision’ project by Riccardo Mariano in Gary, Indiana, USA.
In both projects BAP argued that, in order to foster a community, the design must work with tangible and multisensory spatial experiences – in one case, herbs and plants on a green wall and the surrounding landscape, in the other case, donated books and a reading nook. ‘Gary’s Vision’ was finalist in a competition financed by Bloomberg Philanthropies. ‘Stage’ was realized in 2017 and has received a special mention in the European Prize for Urban Public Space and has been nominated for the Mies Van Der Rohe Award.
Read about it here.
Do you have a question that you would like BAP to answer? Send it to us, or just send a hello, on email@example.com