17 Oct 2018, Mexico City, Mexico
Human determination broadens the limits of space: that is the ratification of our cultural history. Space does the same to a community: that is a principle –and a warning– for all urban planners and designers. What do we mean? Simply put: space can be modified (and extremely so, when city growth gets mixed up with fundamentalist financial development), but always with respect to its own limits and symbolic values.
This principle may makes us sound conservative, but our intentions are the opposite. We choose to wield a liberal approach when it comes to modify public spaces, in this sense: the intervention entailed in the design of any mixed-use complex, more than providing a new face, necessitates deep re-signification, compelling unexpected consumer, business and cultural expressions and arrangements that underpin economic well-being and enhance a community’s worth in the minds of individual members. Re-signification is not re-invention. Reflexive design is not the mere spectacle of new shopping malls, flashy and massive transport hubs or imposing empty squares.
Yes, we also choose to take the individual out of the multitude. The urban development paradigm that we want to support inspire interaction, acknowledging how all human purposes are deeply intertwined. This is not a matter of providing for orderly zoning and circulation (the blind necessities of the masses), but rather a question of how sensitised users (very specific users), modifying and adapting their behaviour, are invited to interpret what the proper use of space should or can be.
In the end, to modify a space –in order to encourage social relations among people and exchanges with the space itself– generates community.
Text: Pablo García
Graphic Design: Romain Roy-Pinot