ABSTRACT

A measure of the wellbeing, cohesion and resilience of our civil society is the range of public urban and landscape places and settings in which all citizens, be they young or mature, enjoy, socialize and mutually interact. In Australia, recreational water settings such as beaches and public swimming pools are recognized as meaningful civic and cultural places of importance. This chapter explores design principles underpinning the seemingly spontaneous formation of the socialization spaces around these recreational bodies of water. Through the analysis of these spaces, the qualities that enable the making of genuine interaction and socialization contact zones can be translated into architectural practice to create meaningful places that transcend culture and generations. Analyzed through diagrams, drawings and images, principles are identified to guide the thoughtful and purposeful design of spatial environments to promote intergenerational encounters, connection and reciprocity in the evolving social context of community in the city of Sydney.