Urban design method : theory and practice : a case study in Malaysia
This research sets out to investigate methods to design urban spaces in Malaysia by studying the approach adopted by architects. The primary concern is the design of exterior spaces with the assumption that the poor urban spaces found in Malaysian urban areas is due to the weaknesses in the design method adopted by designers. For this purpose, the research addressed these objectives:- (1) To identify the reasons why the design of urban spaces is neglected by architects that produce poor continuity in the design of urban spaces, (2) To examine the process adopted and the infonnation used by architects in the design of urban ensemble and (3) To investigate the ways in which the architects responded to the needs of the user and the public. The techniques used for data collection include literature review, discussions with experts, content analysis, author's experience in practice, recognisance, observation, survey and in-depth interview. The information gathered was analysed qualitatively and quantitatively. The weaknesses of the design process and limited use of important information were due to: (1) poor recognition of urban design, (2) limited time allocated, (3) economic pressure, (4) quick commissioning of the project and (5) professionalism. There was also insufficient public involvement in the design process due to poor public awareness, client's attitude, financial constraints, professionalism and the attitudes of the designer. As such design was mostly related to marketing strategy. The main theory adopted in the organisation of the exterior spaces is mostly related to circulation (line) and centres (dots). At the same time, the traditional urban spaces and fonns were influential element used in design. The recommendations that follow were geared towards improving the design methods adopted by architects in producing better design of urban spaces.