28 October minutes

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Present: Kuba, Neil, Ken, Cinzia

Minutes Cinzia & Kuba

Kuba describes to us the inflatable structure he has used for a conference in Warsaw and shows us some images (to come soon). <br> It is a semi-transparent bubble, very easy to install that creates a kind of separate but but visible private space, in public space. <br> In Kuba's words, <br> it puts the event in a performative relation with the space in which it happens.

We are considering how this structure might fit with the Big Ideas project Market of ... and the theme Kuba is proposing: an exploration of the constructs behind notions of public sphere/space. In Poland, the idea of 'bourgeois space' (Habermas) (see public sphere on wikipedia), informs much of the discourse on public space, but only in theory.<br> It has a lot to do with cultural context and history of many Eastern European countries, which were urbanized much later then Western societies (Poland, till 2nd World War, was in 80% agrarian country).<br> It obviously determines how people are producing space(s) and is influencing urban experience. <br> The notion of 'bourgeois space', even if used, does not really provide good insight into these practices.

During our discussion we explored otherr possible formats in which public space in constructed, <br> talked about Arabic Casbah - bazzar, ramblers fights to get a right for walking in countryside in UK, Cinzia described the ways of using the public space in Italy.

Kuba is suggesting that we organise a Market-format-event to address this issues.<br> We agreed that it is more interesting to think about it in wider terms then just comparison of Eastern / Western Europe. <br> Still it can be organized as part of the Polish Season in UK which will run from May 2009 to May 2010. The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the organising entity, might be able to provide up to 1/3 of the budget on application - which depends on the scale of event and how much it does relate to "polish culture", they are about to promote.

Neil sees a correspondence between these concerns and CP's ongoing enquiry into knowledge and the internet as public spaces.

Ken runs a course at Chelsea called Interior Design and Spacial Design, as well as a research group called Spaces and Narrations. We think that these three strands could come together into a very interesting project.

LOCATION: We imagine an event in the Chelsea Parade Ground, with a variety of structures designed and built in collaboration with chosen architects, designers, Ken's students, participants in he Market ... <br> David Garcia (Dean of Chelsea) and Linda Drew have already given a generic 'yes' to the use of the space. <br> We imagine a Market of interesting stalls around a central inflatable (?) structure. <br> We want to take into account the history of building (first prison, then military hospital, now art school ...), the spacial relation with Tate Britain, ideas of panopticon, ideas of 'right of way', all in relation to notions of public sphere. <br>

We think that most of the structure could be thought as a resource we are building for others to be re-used.<br>

The Market will be a 'notional grid' made of zones for social encounters. <br> We will pay attention to the relations and forms of democracy created by the spaces and structures. This should include more traditional iterations of public spaces, like, for example, an academic conference. <br> The central space can more refer to the notion of "agora", while market / casbah will surround it - providing spatial settings for various modes of communication and production of knowledge. <br> It will be interesting to test how they work side - by - side and what kind of practices rise in this situation.<br>

We will approach the The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, proposing an event for May 2010 and requesting some funding. <br> We are thinking of a weekend event, but the structures could be made available during the week for students or academic events.<br>

We will collect a list of architects, designers and organizations we want to involve. We might commission some structures, but we would privilege critical collaborations.

Kuba will be back in the UK in the third week of January, so we will meet again then.

Here are some of the concepts we would like to develop:<br>

  • Subletting a 'plot', to highlight the interface between public and private spheres
  • Built in a day In a variety of cultures/countries one can become owner of a piece of land if one builds a structure on it in a day.
  • Speaker's Corner We'll provide the soap box ...
  • Café as discussion space
  • Blind Auction of a section of the space to a business/corporation
  • Portaloos One free and one for a fee. You have the choice in the knowledge that you are supporting the event.
  • Wild Card a last minute initiative we cannot discuss here ...

Add here if you want to suggest a stall.

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