AURA PLANNING

What is Aura Planning?

Aura Planning is a tool for discovering the feelings people want from a built environment, or building project, and then developing a design that will stimulate those feelings.

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What is Aura Planning?

Aura Planning is a tool for discovering the feelings people want from a built environment, or building project, and then using these to direct design that will stimulate those feelings.


There is an aura in any built environment that will generate different moods in people depending on whether they are viewing from afar, entering the building or doing things within it. That aura is a product of the building’s design and construction. Aura Planning is a process that identifies the criteria for this aura so that it can be planned, designed for and then delivered by all those responsible for bring the design to life.


We all have the ability to sense the mood of our environment in what seems like an instant. However, the creation of this sense of atmosphere is complex. It is a very personal experience that is affected by memory. These past experiences colour the way we see the world and influence how much we are surprised or delighted or find beauty in our environment. 

What problems does Aura Planning solve? 

What is Aura Planning?

Aura Planning is a tool for discovering the feelings people want from a built environment, or building project, and then using these to direct design that will stimulate those feelings.


There is an aura in any built environment that will generate different moods in people depending on whether they are viewing from afar, entering the building or doing things within it. That aura is a product of the building’s design and construction. Aura Planning is a process that identifies the criteria for this aura so that it can be planned, designed for and then delivered by all those responsible for bring the design to life.


We all have the ability to sense the mood of our environment in what seems like an instant. However, the creation of this sense of atmosphere is complex. It is a very personal experience that is affected by memory. These past experiences colour the way we see the world and influence how much we are surprised or delighted or find beauty in our environment. 

What problems does Aura Planning solve? 

Talking about the mood created by buildings is inherently difficult because it is about people, their feelings, their personal preferences and their goals. A van delivery driver struggling to make progress along a medieval Sicilian street will have different feelings to those of a visiting tourist admiring the ironwork of the overhanging balconies.

 

The commissioners of buildings have tended to avoid addressing this difficulty head on and instead have relied on architects to create designs people will like. The judgement of the architect and their ability to anticipate the needs of the building user is the main force at play along with the preferences of the commissioners. 


The complexity of building technologies now needed to create places and buildings means an interdisciplinary design team is required. Traditionally, it was the role of the architect to imagine and orchestrate the outcome of this design process. In the architects ‘plan of work’, consultations take place, briefs are prepared and options are developed. These guide the project towards the eventual outcome. The aura the project would generate were imagined by the architect but were not technically articulated in the initial specification. The problem with this process is that the aura the client group (owners, planners and users etc.) hoped for might not correspond with those imagined by the architect.


Aura planning turns this traditional process on its head. It begins with the moods you want the building to create as it is used in different ways, then extracts the technical components required to achieve them. This becomes an aura specification that the client group owns as it has emerged from talking to them. 
Built environment aura are such a basic part of life that even the most disparate group of people will have common preferences and use similar expressions to articulate them. These become the descriptors that can be given back to the design team. 


The aura of the design that emerges is inextricably linked to each contributor. Rather than it being a vision created by one person - usually the architect. Aura planning is the shared spark that binds and informs the interdisciplinary process.

Who uses Aura Planning?

Because it is a process, Burland Aura Planning is as applicable to refining the aura of existing buildings as it is to designing new ones. In fact, it can be used to plan the aura of any building or built environment. Aura Planning is useful whenever you want a building to satisfy the emotional needs of its users. It’s already being successfully applied in the following situations:

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