Habitual Inhabitation: Revitalising the City Through Ritual
Rituals, as a form of transcendence, have the opportunity to provide an escape from the mundane and to create moments of mental clarity. Every person will have a ritual personal to themselves in which they can experience mental relief and comfort. The continual practice and repetition of these routines become second nature, or habitual, and as such create ritual habitats. However, contemporary day to day life is often stressful, busy and relentless. As a result, we have developed bad habits. We don’t always have the time or opportunities to engage in moments of personal nourishment that would counteract the anxieties and stress we face. A tension has developed between daily life and general wellbeing due to this lack of relief and relaxation which ultimately endangers people’s mental health.
This thesis investigates how public spaces in the city can reintegrate better habits into our routines and encourage the habitual practice of these rituals. A series of architectural interventions, placed within interstitial spaces in the city, is proposed to revitalise people’s lives and the city itself.
This project focuses on a common philosophy and practice in approaching the design of such architectural interventions. It borrows from Atelier Bow Wow’s Pet Architecture, which documents Tokyo buildings constructed in interstitial spaces, resulting in a collection of quirky and humorous architecture. A methodology is designed to create a network of pet architectures for Auckland, that will afford rituals of wellbeing and a new type of inhabitation of the city. Analyses of pedestrian traffic and common routes as well as surveys of their preferred rituals of wellbeing inform the sites and programmes of each architectural intervention. This results in a series of unique and unusual pet architectures and newly formed routines to challenge how the city of Auckland can be inhabited.