ANNOUNCING A NEW PLATFORM FOR RESEARCH ON ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN IN PUBLIC SPACE!
What is RE-sign Architecture? Monuments, landmarks, and other kinds of publicly celebrated landscapes play dominant roles in defining the social imaginary of a city, region or nation. In many instances, however, these urban icons divide communities along ethnic, religious and social lines. Civil conflicts often specifically target these physical symbols, seeking their eradication, removal or defacement. RE-signification Architecture recognises both the importance of understanding these contested sites, and the necessity of finding alternative outcomes, where public space and civic forum can converge into unifying, conciliatory places of inclusive collective gathering. Using diversified techniques and methodologies, RE-signification Architecture seeks to operate on-site, gathering local testimonies, documenting histories, mapping and reflecting on these constructed memories.
The first aim of this research, therefore, is to understand the layers of collective significance attributed to a public space by its inhabitants and users and how these layers of collective significance play out symbolically over time and space.
How can RE-signification Architecture play a relevant role in resolving past, current and newly emerging conflicts in public spaces? Intractable political grievances between communities are not easily resolvable, and require dedicated diplomatic mediation. Nonetheless, the city’s public spheres–its piazzas, streets, and parks provide unequalled opportunities for spatialized public negotiations, where simple events, theatrical performances, temporary structures, experimental ceremonies can be developed together with local leaders, civic activists, NGO’s and institutions dealing in public arts and architecture. By seeking to study, analyse and propose through interactive and cooperative processes strategies inspired by architectural, urban design, and artistic practices it becomes possible to rethink the symbols, forms and rituals that are part of everyday life. RE-signification Architecture seeks to bring communities together through iconographic public constructions and performances, where diversities can be raised freely within new kinds of spatial commons. RE-signification Architecture is an experimental platform for spatial diplomacy.