CC02 FInal Blog task // What is a public space….
Over the course of this assignment ‘Public life, public space’ blog i have looked at public spaces in depth attempting to define what a public space might be. I looked at many articles, blogs, books all of which had many examples. Not one expressed a certain definition which implies that there isn’t one definitive concept. Many of the descriptions were almost abstract at times which suggests public space is very much dependant on ones perception.
My thoughts towards public life has changes considerably with the space of this assignment. Prior to this assignment i didn’t have any real in-depth responses to public life and how public life/public space is an integral part of any design process. I have realised that the divide between public and private is much more intricate than just being alone or being in a space with others. I feel a public life very ugh depends on ones personality and what common relations they have with public space. Ones public and private life may differ greatly or may be very similar. Public life is a life of which others are able to observe, view, witness you if you like it or not which could change ones perception. Over the period of this assignment i have noticed how some people are to conceal ‘themselves’ once in a public situation and how others revel ‘themselves’. Who know if ones being ‘themselves’ or not? we are in public the majority of the time which makes the design public space very important. The balance between public and private is important, as having too much or too little of a public life vice versa could have detrimental effects on ones life. Once the balance has been clinched the type of public space is vital. After my recent experiences on a trip to london the underground isn’t the type of public space one should need excessive time in. These kind of spaces re spaces of which Rem Koolhaus described as being a ‘junkspace’
I believe social relationships are naturally found. I don’t believe we need strategies to organise ourselves into groups and form a social relationship, however these relationships are only enabled to form through attendance to public spaces. If one restricts their access to public spaces their social relationships will resultantly suffer. Public spaces are designed to be aimed at all public in general. However there are many factors that categories the type of people in public spaces. Some being, age, gender, religion, personalities, preferences, wealth occupation, location. This is how public space aids social relationships. It acts as a path to guide similar people into the same location. However these paths constantly intersect one another mixing all kinds of people together. We naturally make these decisions of which paths and which spaces we choose to occupy. Spaces within spaces also occur, shopping centers consist of many spaces categorised by different factors such as wealth, preference and gender. They are designed to make it easier for people to shop which unintentionally creates segments of more specific public places with one large scale public place. ‘Tribes’ or ‘social groups’ often put a strain on public space, riots and protests are becoming more frequent in cities which is an examples of how the design of public spaces need to keep up with society. Referring back to a blog of mine [10th May], Marc Auge [a French anthropologist] talks about the relation between social relationships and public space and how social space emerges to facilitate passage and believes if the purpose is not to operate sociably as a defined place it becomes a non-place
Once inhabiting a public space alone without relations the space isn’t being utilised efficiently. I feel the space is only really utilised well once the relationships have formed, such as the studio for example. A positive correlation will form once larger groups of relations have formed then the space will now become the public space once intended as now in social surroundings one is able to interact with it. In any space that we publicly inhabit, conscious or not, we are in a dialectic relationship with our surroundings. We navigate a space according to our own intuitive sense of its construction in relation to how much freedom its design allows for us to do that The space depends on the inhabitant in it, as architecture students we design spaces. These spaces have to be adaptable for change, the change may come from new social relationships which architects have to be aware of. As society is constantly adapting it is requiring more stress on the space as most public spaces are far my advanced in terms of thought than ever before.
To conclude what a public space is, one would find difficult but i have certainly formed an in depth understanding of public space without being able to define it. Through my interpretation of all the blogs i have made i am able to configure an understanding of the social relations of public life and how cities are designed to incorporate the public needs and adaptations in order to design the ‘ideal’ space.
-The digital economy has shifted the balance between control and co-creation;
- Collaboration is the new literacy and we need to tap into it;
- Social architecture is the new balance between hierarchy and community;
- Getting there is a three-step challenge: 1. expertise, 2. relationship management, 3. social architecture;
- We need to fundamentally change the way we approach organizational change management;
- The maturity of middle management is at stake - they need to become social architects;
- It’s a matter of discovering, honoring the community through social validation;
- Finally there are 5 domino blocks that are essential in order to kick-start the social architecture of your organization.
Time Square: Modern City and its Immersive Nature
The world’s busiest intersection!
Times square is an iconic public place which over a million people passing through daily. The Times square scene is forever being viewed on television broadcast coverage on a daily basis. As the media and digital domains developed, one of the buildings (One Times Square) became a focal point. Not so much for its size or architectural qualities but for its decorative vinyl and electronic cladding. Times square is not so iconic for its architecture as such but more for its advertisement. Its wear every company wants their name. ‘on an average day Times Square will see at least one to one and a half million people cascading through its streets and sidewalks’ let alone on special events such as new years where the whole nations eyes will be on this one building. These advertising boards create a pallet of colour with 3 of the 4 facades submerged in them. The building very much reflects on the public space, the space is always mobbed with people how the building mobbed with LEDs the billboards are also very animated with most being tv screens that show adverts which change regularly which one of the adverts being mechanical this represents the movement within the square as it seems to be a place where people pass through rather than visit.
Times square is a fine example how its architecture doesn’t have to be of the same scale to compete with the 40 -50 skyscrapers around it. The square has its own unique vibe and ethos around it which makes it stand as a giant among its companions. Its such an established place now that one could build anything around it and its identity will remain.
Mirror Installation Distorts Our Relationship With Public Spaces //
‘How does the construction of a public space affect how we interact with it? In any space that we inhabit we are, conscious or not, in a dialectic relationship with our surroundings. We navigate a space according to our own intuitive sense of its construction in relation to how much freedom its design allows for us to do that. But what if the structure of a space we were in were suddenly to dissolve or become indeterminate?’
How our perception is changed through the use of these mirrors, unknown shapes and forms have been formed.
Junkspace ? Empty Chinese shopping mall //
Rem koolhaus describes such a place of being junkspace. Past their prime and doomed by a business model stuck in the late 20th century.
‘The giant mall you see in the photos here, though, didn’t die. It has never lived, having been nothing but empty since it opened seven years ago. According to its Wikipedia entry, it has an astounding 2,350 available retail spaces, only 47 of which are occupied’.
JUNKSPACE … what characterises a space and a ‘non’- space ?
Rem Koolhaus quickly attempts to define the meaning of the ‘junkspace’ “If space-junk is the human debris that litters the universe, junk-space is the residue mankind leaves on the planet.” Although kolas seems to anecdotally defined by koolhaus as he uses the word in many contexts throughout the reading.
Linking back to the blog topic Koolhaus made some references to public spaces and how these are created and what are good and bad spaces for the public.
Koolhaus quickly makes it apparent how public space in modern architecture can be hindered by what ‘junk’ is in the space or how it may facilitate the spatial characteristics in purpose of trapping inhabitants in a surrealistic environment. Koolhaus refers to public space
“ok, lets tall about space then, the beauty of airports, especially after each upgrade. The lustre renovations. The subtlety of the shopping centre”.
When talking about space he often refers back to the architecture and how the architect designed the space. He seems to hint how a public space such as an airport or shopping centre differs to a city in terms of circulation, a airport integrates a flowing circulation whereas a city usually consists of a complexed circulation. Koolhaus refers to the highway as being a junkspace ” Traffic is junkspace, from airspace to the subway, the entire highway system is junkspace” it seems that kolas disapproves of how the space is inhabited. Junkspace came across to me as being a space that contains no architectural qualities as such, or inhabitance.
Koolhaus has expressed his concerns of how architecture has failed to characterise itself in the 20th century, which highlights his love and passion towards architecture. He uses abstract description to really emphasis his negativity towards some aspects of design…
”Space is scooped out of a junkspace as from a soggy block of ice-cream that has languished too long in the freezer”
Rem Koolhause also adds relations back to political points. He touches on how capitalism today inevitably produce inexpensive, under insulated spaces which are often the spaces classed as being a junkspace…
Koolhause’s ‘Junkspaces’ seems to have a strong correlation with Marc Auge’s (is a French anthropologist) non-places book, he talks about how social space emerges to facilitate passage and believes if the purpose is not to operate sociably as a defined place it becomes a non-place. This links with rem Koolhause’s view of a ‘junkspace’. But is junkspace necessarily a negative thing?
One quote that i find really overarches the writing for me is again an attract definition of what he means by ‘junkspace’…. “Junkspace is a Bermuda Triangle of concepts, an abandoned petri dish: it cancels distinctions, undermines resolve, confuses intention with realisation. It replaces hierarchy with accumulation, composition with addition”
CC02 // 3
Leisure Time // Spent at Great Yarmouth football club
leisure time is time spent away from the ordinary, such as work or studies. It is often can be a time spent alone away from other people or a time spent with other people. In my case my leisure time over Easter holidays was time spent with the public, although the public being the spectators. I see leisure time as a sociable time usually situated in a public space.
CC02 // 2
Fishman, Robert  // Urban utopias in the twentieth century // Ebenezer Howard // Frank Lloyd Wright, and Le Corbusier
Urban Utopias in the Twentieth Century
Robert Fisherman talks about biggest names in Urban Planning in their particularly time period. Ebenezer Howard, Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier were the three main architects who proposed new ‘innovative’ city plans at this time. Each architect whom experienced salvation of civilisation shared similar city experiences which acted as a stimulant to design a new urban city. Although sharing similar experiences they each differed interpretation of the situation, each architects proposals were contrasting one an others greatly even but all aiming to design the most ideal city. They all decided to present their city plans as 3D models, their models incorporated both urban reconstruction and social revolution. Le Corbusier described the changes as “rules of the game”, how the revolutionary changes in urban design, politics, and economics which must take place if ‘ideal’ solutions were ever to be found. The designs were classed as being utopias. At the time these utopias seemed mad and even surreal in some cases but after decades of controversy critics began to realise that these ideal cities sound a place in architecture.