From the influence of Arab Spring in 2011, to the ongoing Occupy movement, the notion of public space as contested raises questions of social and spatial justice for all within art and architectural discourse. During such times of social upheaval architects, artists and planners can play a vital role in reshaping our public spaces as “sites of action, meaning and possibility”[1] thereby shaping our environments as lived space.[2]

The questions I explore are how does the structure of cities change when ordinary citizens assert their rights to streets and squares/parks in public displays of social, cultural, political activism? What spatial transformations of the public space promote participatory actions pushing for social and cultural shifts? Is there an opportunity for architects to create spaces that promote, such participatory activities in the public sphere?

[1] Jeffrey Hou, "Beyond Zuccotti Park: Making the Public," (The Design Observer Group, 2012).
[2] Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space  (Wiley, 1991).