A's map (3)
Created on April 11, 2022
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This circular square, surrounded by buildings and completely open to view, felt like being in a reversed panopticon, where one feels observed without being able to see their observer in return. We doubted that somebody would actually enjoy using this open space.
VISIBILITY: Safety or Social Pressure/Control?
A's map highlights her feeling of being constantly observed. Open space is mostly exposed to the view of the windows and balconies of the buildings nearby, with almost no trees or physical elements to create some space for intimacy and retreat. Can this favour public safety (J. Jacobs's "eyes on the street" ), or is it rather perceived as social pressure?
A relaxing atmosphere, with people strolling and children playing. A nice environment to meet and spend time together.
"People use the space as planned — Are the people free to use the space as they want to?"
All activities and uses are prescribed in space. Even graffiti art has been constricted to authorized space on playground walls. How much does space overplanning limit freedom of expression or creative use?
"It feels like a simulation"
Space is purely functional, and mostly devoid of those signs of human life that are usually scattered around the urban environment (such as shop signages, ads, street art, posters, etc.), and which people use as personal landmarks for orientation and to develop "feelings of identification and at-homeness” (Kusenbach 2003, 472). Everything looks like a blank slate, "nothing sticks out, offends, or challenges" (Sennett 2017, 43). We tried to orient ourselves by "tagging space" through such landmarks, but we hardly found any.