White Papers

The Subtle Art of Placemaking

The Subtle Art of Placemaking stemmed from a question: Why do we still need to create meaningful places when virtual settings and interactions are on the rise? Perkins Eastman’s Design Research team began the study by exploring the current body of knowledge, particularly work that sought to identify the meaning and qualities of place. We then sought insights from Perkins Eastman designers, and blended them within well-known frameworks for placemaking. This paper brings fresh thinking to existing literature and suggests that placemaking occurs at three scales: city, building, and interior. Accordingly, we developed twelve, easy-to-understand Place Attribute Cards to facilitate discussions and explorations around place. The study concludes by reflecting on the future of place in a post-pandemic world, followed by a series of case studies that exemplify Place Attributes within the context of Perkins Eastman-designed projects.