My name is Zdravko Trivic and I am 27 years old. I received my bachelor degree in architecture at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade, Serbia. As an architect and interior designer my interests have always developed around the issue of the relationship between ambient power (aesthetics) and well-being, namely people’s bodily and multi-sensorial subjective experience of space and the ambient power of space. After short work in design practice I decided to pursue further education and develop my interests to a higher professional and academic level. Currently I am a PhD scholar at the Department of Architecture at University of Singapore (joined in August, 2006), under the supervision of Dr Ruzica Bozovic-Stamenovic and Dr Hee Limin. My current interest is focused on the healing possibilities of contemporary public spaces (usually privatized), often criticized for their manipulative character or lack of identity and multi-sensorial stimuli, such as shopping malls, underground pass-ways, tourist areas, etc. My tentative thesis title is: “The Role of Multi-Sensorial Experience and Ambient Power in Achieving of Higher Level of Well-Being in Contemporary Public Spaces in Singapore and Belgrade.” In our often “over-aestheticized” and globalized contemporary cities the role of senses and subjective aesthetic experience seems to be of high importance. In spite of negative critiques of contemporary public spaces they remain highly attractive. This thesis tries to uncover the reasons for such attraction, combining and re-thinking very different, but interconnected theoretical concepts, such as seduction, pleasure, everydayness and health. In my thesis these concepts are seen more as positive qualities of space. This approach emphasizes the creative potential for establishing deeper, healthier, more harmonious and more flexible connections between people and their everyday environment, rather than the negative impact of such spaces. Furthermore, a deeper understanding of the interconnections between these concepts might be beneficial for achieving a higher level of well-being in such places. The lack of awareness and of positive attitudes towards our built environment, as I see it, is a crucial problem for “creating” both healthy people and healthy places. Without understanding people’s subjective experiences it is very difficult to create “truly” healthy places. Pragmatic and hygienic approaches, although gaining certain positive outcomes, have already been proven as fatal for certain contexts, engendering social alienation and crime. Building awareness about health must be more culturally sensitive process. What is healthy in one context is necessarily healthy in the other.
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