15:00 - 16:40
Session: S51
[Community and Healing] + Design
Research on Urban Furniture Intervention to Foster Community Emotional Healing
Community Emotional Healing; Urban Furniture; Social Innovation; Design Intervention; Narrative Storytelling
Tanhao GAO, Jingwen TIAN, Xiaotong ZHANG, Hongtao ZHOU

In the contemporary fast-paced urban construction and social development, more and more people suffer from social anxiety, loneliness, depression, and other mental sub-health conditions. At the same time, after experiencing the COVID-19pandemic and social distancing, people have to overcome the psychological alienation and adapt to the “new normal” life, which clarifies the practical significance of community emotional healing intervention in urban planning. This paper aims to explore how urban furniture could become the touchpoints of community emotional healing based on the mental sub-health situation. The first part analyses the conceptual difference between “healing” and “therapy” and considers different stakeholders, then identifies the four characteristics of urban furniture based on community emotional healing, which can be summarized as enhancing the aesthetic, easy-to-understand interaction, short time-consuming interaction, and inclusive consideration. Urban furniture not only has functional concerns but can easily integrate and interact with the social environment. Finally, this research introduces four design strategies for urban furniture based on community emotional healing. They can be concluded as exploring the renewal potential of the leftover space, using low-time-cost and easy-to-understand interaction methods, co-creation of urban furniture stakeholders, and narrative storytelling. With those design strategies, the urban furniture could have the potential to heal community emotion, improve social health and further promote social innovation.