The presence of others who see what we see and hear what we hear assures us of the reality of the world and of ourselves.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

City of Domains

Traditional typology of urban design creates a strict division between private and public space - between the courtyard with private gardens and the street. The new open space according to DASH (Delft Architectural Studies on Housing) should open up the residential block. But the intervention is not aimed at creating room for a collective domain, but accommodating a new relationship between the public and private.

Parochial space according to American sociologist Lofland is a space that is indeed accessible to the public but clearly forms the territory of a particular group: those who walk in as strangers often feel themselves to be unwelcome guests. Public domain presumes on atmosphere of exchange and confrontation. The question then becomes: how open are these dominated domains, what relation do they have with other domains and to what extent can they be designed? Is the involvement of residents one of the main conditions for experiencing a space as public?

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