Brixton Fire Hall again.
Well, start by imagining a place in your head! So I start off imagining what street pattern the area has and decide upon the general character of the neighborhood. Is it a run down area or kind of ritzy? What kind of places would you expect to see in that neighborhood? Cafes, restaurants, offices, chain stores, small mom and pop stores… It’s essentially the creation of a small part of the world that you think would function.
I’m also keen on just exploring around my own area in real life, noticing all the small details on the street, and walking into some unique places. My favorite feeling is when you walk into a building and experience something completely different; a grand theater, or a homely cafe isolated from the busy street mere feet away.
I hope that answers your question, and thanks again!