Designing for human needs
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The open-air center is one of the most common forms of development found in the American landscape. These developments, however, typically are designed to accommodate automobiles at the expense of the needs of humans and, in particular, pedestrians. In order to address this issue, this thesis identifies the effect of current open-air center designs on human needs and explains how designers can improve upon the current model. An exploration of general human needs theory and, specifically, literature that defines the relationship between human needs and the built environment help to create of a set of eight “theorems” that address human needs specifically within a neighborhood open-air center. Current case study models are examined with a focus on human needs. These findings are applied to a redesign of the Barnett Shoals corridor in Athens, GA. The goal of the thesis is to generate a new form and function for the neighborhood open-air center to serve as a model for future development.