2012 – 2016 | Participation in Collaborative research initiated by Plan Común
Text by Felipe de Ferrari ( Plan Comùn)
Regardless of the usual aspirations of pragmatism that many of us may have, it is impossible to understand our citieswithout ideology. In the specific context of Chile, we live under a neoliberal model and we have to take a position –either in favor of or against it–.
The generic condition we are referring to finds its own specificity according to the context where it is displayed. For instance, societies around the world are now mobilized against the consequences of the system: the Chilean Student Movement of 2011, the Arab Spring or the current situation in Greece are just the tip of the iceberg of a reaction against the many inconsistencies of our models of development and administration of wealth. Citizens have aimed at reclaiming the public sphere.
As architects, me must choose the right to the city as our front in this fight. The city, the war cry of modern architecture, is now controlled by the ups and downs of market economy, and it has also been discarded by contemporary architecture. As a result, having a position towards the confrontation between public space and the private realm is a fundamental question of modernity today, a key to understand the current role of architecture. We believe in the transforming and transcendental power of architecture. If used properly, it can change contexts, propose precise relationships between various elements and produce new ways to inhabit the world. Common Places is an ongoing series of 50 original and exclusive formal strategies, aiming at maximizing public space and conducted by an international team of architects. This is a set of architecture projects for our cities, prototypes questioning the validity of established ideological and/or normative models, reproducing the new and fertile public spaces demanded by the citizenship.