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Platform for Urbanism and Landscape Architecture

Tue, 13 Feb


Den Haag Centraal

Exploring the Depths of Public Life

Ethnographic Mapping in the Centre of The Hague together with Maurice Harteveld

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Exploring the Depths of Public Life
Exploring the Depths of Public Life

Time & Location

13 Feb 2024, 14:30 CET

Den Haag Centraal, 10 Koningin Julianaplein 1st floor, 2595 AA Den Haag, Netherlands

About the event

Modernist philosophy loves to play with dichotomies, like ‘we’ and ‘the others’, ‘here’ and ‘there’, or for example the presumed bipolar relation between ‘public’ and ‘private’. This echoes through various ways the underlying concept of culture has been influencing urban thinking on, and design of, public space. In the past scholars and professionals have been discussing ways cultural or social groups mix, or may mix – there have been attempts to plan for it. Don’t you do the same? Are these groups really different, or do you think they are? At the same time, you may focus on what you (can) see in public space, and you may often compare it implicitly with places you already know. In such processes, studies are delineated to the outdoor, open and assessable spaces, presumed to be ‘public spaces’, and they problematise spatial conditions in accordance to standards and lived experiences of the observer.

The fieldwork on February 13th include a Socratic Walk and a ethnographic mapping exercise. You will walk through the city  discussing in pairs your biases on cultures, society, and public space, and, subsequentially, you will actively record public life over time in relation to physical attributes in a given space. The aim is to become aware of preconceptions and open up to the depths of public life. In other words, instead of defining cultural and social groups yourself, in your public spaces, in accordance to your reading and experience, you are challenged to ask in what places people really gather as a group in public, for what doings, and from their own perspectives.



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