Architecture for the City: Public Buildings in a Private Time

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    The western world’s understanding of a public space is chiefly connected with the idea of a democratic place. Further, public space is often synonym of freedom and opportunity for individual expression and collective performance. The Greek agora or the Roman forum are arguably the most canonical figures of public space. However, in this day and age, the dynamics of everyday life in an urban world increasingly populated with virtual actors challenges the cultural and political qualities that we associate with the notion of public space. The architecture of the city plays an important role in this process. As a repository of collective memory, it is a fundamental agent to activate the public spaces. Indeed, the transitions between public life and the domestic realm have been chiefly negotiated through timeless architectural devices such as arcades, gates, doors, windows or balconies. Now, they are being increasingly negotiated by glazed facades, Jumbotron’s, and smartphones.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)16-21
    JournalC3 Architecture-Landscape-Urbanism
    Issue number386
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


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