The Post Public Space
— Emiliano Espasandin and Soledad Chamorro
In the current pandemic situation, urban life is undergoing a stage of radical transformations.
The current postcards of the public are exposing it: the strangeness of seeing iconic cities, such as Milan, Madrid, New York, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, and Buenos Aires, completely empty is shocking.
We are facing a deep change, not only in the use of spaces but also in the configuration of our societies.
Within the contexts of lockdowns and physical distancing, the traditional uses of public spaces are no longer available, pushing people to organize themselves spontaneously to find new ways of interacting with others, shaping the urban life under quarantine.
Under the motto #stayathome, communities are developing novel ways to communicate, participate, belong and share.
But who can occupy the public space then? To whom does it belong?
The streets, sidewalks, and all traditional public spaces, extended horizontally in a relative continuous +/- 0.00, are now being replaced by a new format: the New Public is currently being distributed vertically, built from the small, fragmented, individual, private spaces, in their forms of windows, balconies, terraces and rooftops.
This exploration revolves around new ways of engaging that societies are developing all over the world: the potential of fragmented private spaces facing urban voids are the new spaces of socialization and civic gathering: from the private domain to the public participation, the new normal is spatially configured by a collective commitment, as the new urban pattern.
The potential of AI is used to speculate Post Public scenarios with all its complexities.
A Convolutional Neural Networks activates the process where two parameters are defined: the content relies on the city and the style informs the new normal. The results reveal the intriguing mix of human and non-human conditions.
Facing the uncertain future of when and how previous practices will be resumed, if such things were to happen, societies become resilient, and instead of denying change, they embrace it as a potential permanent from new models of engagement.
Could the Post Public be the Future of the Collective Space?