Think Public Space
Work title: Itinerant Structure for appropriation of public spaces
Over time, many processes has been responsible and influencers in the way that people enjoy the public space in the cities. This processes can be related to the social and cultural issues, the architectural and urban production or the political management of cities. Some of these processes led to the banishment of the people to the experience of public spaces.
It’s normal to see large urban projects intended to use the city''''s image, with iconic architectures and homogenized spaces as advertising, assigning character of merchandise to space. To construct this "spectacle''''s cities", many times occur the privatization of public spaces, with a more effective control and restrictions on ways to experience the city, discouraging the use of public space. Processes of spatial segregation became stronger, with gentrification and forced changes in the social dynamics of the city. These issues, among others, directly affect the way in which citizens living in the city, helping to maintain a vision of urban space as a mere place of passage and not as venue, practices and meeting.
On the other hand, there were always the people that had experienced the urban spaces, like a resistance to this reduction of experience. They are the citizens that live the urban space, weaving their own relations with him through the daily practice, regardless of what is planned in large projects. Most attention turns to the groups that have more specific, individual and ludic visions of the city, extrapolating its functional characteristics. They can be observed in different areas: artistic, cultural, recreational, political, etc., for example, the errants, who used walking as an artistic practice (among them, the Situationists in the 50s), the practitioners of street art, graffiti and urban sports (as parkour and skateboarding). Moreover, even though it was stifled, the urban space have been ever to be the local to the collective forms of city appropriation, such as cultural events, festivals, and for political manifestations.
In recent years, we could witness a strong resumption to the streets in cities all over the world. The Occupy’s initiated a movement with no return. These practices of space cited have never been so powerful in finding real appropriation of urban spaces. Events and practices in public space have demonstrated an ability to provoke new relations between citizens and cities. This social return to the streets shows that, to think about the public spaces, we cannot be restricted to the big architecture and urbanism projects, it needs something more. Needs the participation, the use, the people. The cities need new visions about how we can use them.
What if the cities could be constructed by the spatial practices? What if we could combine the potential of cultural events with the use and the appropriation of public spaces? What if we could activate existing spaces that are abandoned only through the use of the people? What if we could value the suburban public city spaces for local residents? What if we could combine architecture, urbanism and event to create experiences and value the spaces of the city?
Thinking about this, we started to think about an architecture that serves as a support to activation tactic of existing public spaces. An urban architecture, that can go anywhere: to places where it is not expected, seeking to enable and enhance urban dimensions that are neglected, claiming through practice the use and appropriation of these spaces, or take unexpected issues and that require attention to places that are very visible in the cities. The tactic will be based on creative, the playful, the unexpected as an incentive and an invitation to the appropriation of the city.
It will be an itinerant structure, like a skeleton, which can be "dressed" appropriate and incorporated by various initiatives, groups and activities around the city (as presentations, parties, exhibitions, workshops, sporting events or free appropriation). Its use is not limited to just one type of activity, but it will be designed according to the site and what is interesting to return it as a collective space. To serve too many activities, the structure can assume different forms. It is made in a modular metal structure, to promote light weight and ease of assembly.
Thinking about the theory of the Situacionists, the presence of the structure will be a situation, to change the way to see the cities. That was done some examples of situations in different places in different cities, from poor spaces in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to residential and noble areas on Zagreb.