Think Public Space
Work title: eMoJiSpaCe
The current situation in European cities describes two different conflict situations: the approach of urban development from an exacerbated capitalist point of view; and the traditional concept of a lively city developed in squares. The first position defends the private domain, while the second one reduces all principles of life in the city to the public domain. What is a city then? Is it possible to take a stand?
The city is the result of a constant state of change; it is a living concept that flows into the street picking up emotions, disappointments, hurries and meetings. The city is on the street and is the street. The city is the aroma of urbanism generated by a society in need. And those deficiencies are manifested on the street.
Streets, squares, sidewalks, driveways, porches, even some terraced roofs ... The public space is marked everywhere, and that’s why its role in the concept of the city is essential. Its role is articulator, organizational and representative. It is even the mirror of the soul of the city. It is the place where people share, run, rest ... It is yours and mine, it belongs, consequently - and here lies the magic of the public space- TO EVERYONE.
Regarding its role in society, public space is its most spontaneous way of representation. How does public space work, then, in relation to society? Are we talking about a social, political or urban aspect? From this point of view, we share the idea of a strong synthesis of those three concepts.
The public space is made for citizens and aims to respond to the society that dives into its streets. In addition, politics use it to give its most public appearance, answering and solving its deficiencies. But how can politicians know what are the living lacks of a society? This complicated question will be one of the issues we intend to resolve with the proposed intervention.
The most romantic and obvious precept of public space is that it belongs TO EVERYONE and is FOR EVERYONE. So this ENTIRETY of the owner should be present in any performance that takes place in it and for it. In our opinion, it is of paramount importance not to lose the ability to decide about it and to materialize our emotions and concerns about the leading space of 70% of our lives: the street.
The "public" concept brings together numerous social nuances that become stronger in times of instability. For that reason, the public space is currently part of a situation of political and social change. New political ideas burst into the social panorama in May 2011; the movement called "15M" is embodied in the colonization of the street, converting it into the place where the acts that precedes changes of mentality and social mechanisms are developed.
Thereby, the instability of political principles comes before citizen insecurity by moving doubts into the street, where people share questions and try to expose and solve them.
Following the opening of ideas in the public space, a (in our view) "wrong" concept called "My Space" takes place. Each member who is a precursor of street movements starts his activity from this rule, reclaiming his political thinking represented by the slogan: "The street is mine."
In a moment of crisis, insecurity and economic instability, it is likely that daily or even momentary needs begin to appear and architecture should answer them without macro-public buildings. In this way, architecture must not only answer urban issues, but it should also be a strong and committed system, participatory for the citizen and materialized as "Protagonist of Change".
At this point, it is necessary to make a synthesis of the concepts used in this proposal.
On the one hand, the immediate and ephemeral nature of a dynamic society of change which is repressed in the expression of street feelings is taken into account. This leads us to use the public space as a support for these expressions. It will participate as a blackboard where the development of a changing society will be printed. An open and efficient reading of its questions and responses and their uses in relation to society may be made over it.
In this way, a dialogue between citizens and the change policy that it is currently facing will be established in order to originate new answers. We will put into practice the TOTAL nature of public space that will form the new "Our Space" concept, emphasizing its collective, collaborative and participatory idiosyncrasies.