The impact of perceptions on built form : a proposed transport interchange for Durban.
The evolution of public transport in South Africa has seen the rise and fall of the train and bus and the domination of the car and minibus taxis. In an urban environment which is ever increasing in population due the effects of urbanization the taxi industry has become the most serviced mode of public transport in South Africa due to its ability to move people efficiently. The effects of this are evident by the chaos on the roads and in social environments where the demand of the minibus taxis have negatively impacted the very urban environment that they service. This has in turn seen the decline of many other modes of public transport and their facilities due to the lack of use and ability to cater for the growing demand and needs of the public. These public transport facilities and systems are now perceived negatively by large populations that have the choice of other means of mobility. The need for facilities that provide cohesion of all modes of public transport is required to change the way people feel about public transport and to offer the freedom of using the various modes interchangeably. This dissertation considers an appropriate response through architectural design to positively change the perceptions of the public. Through extrapolating the impacts that perceptions have on the built form, the creation of transport facilities that can positively enhance perceptions can be established. While architectural theories on perception and phenomenology provide a method of dealing with the sensory and cognitive aspects of design, active engagement with the users of public transport provide valuable information informing the research and design outcomes. In order to successfully incorporate the interpretations of perceptions qualitative research had been conducted in cohesion with a review of literature and an analysis of case studies and precedents. Through the research it has been demonstrated that through meaningful architecture the perceptions of people can be changed to positively gain a working transport system with facilities that incorporate all types of mobility. The outcomes of this dissertation also provide a set of recommendations, principles and understanding of the criteria necessary to inform the design of a transport interchange in an urban South African context.