Transgressive architecture – testing the boundaries of inclusiveness

Doron, G.M., 2004, Transgressive architecture – testing the boundaries of inclusiveness, in: OPENspace, ‘Open space, people space’, OPENspace, Edinburgh

  • Author : Doron, G.M.
  • Year : 2004
  • Published in Book : Open space, people space
  • Abstract in English : The paper examines the boundaries of inclusiveness in public space in Western cities, especially London, and the ongoing exclusion of ‘street communities’ or ‘urban nomads’ from this space. Furthermore, the paper concentrates on the work of the group Transgressive Architecture in relation to the social cleansing of public spaces. Street communities lack political representation. Because of their nomadic existence, they are predominantly not even considered as communities by politicians, architects and planners. Using the writing of De Certeau, Foucault and real examples from cities around the globe, the paper will identify these communities, and the ways in which they use and change public space into what I call ‘transgressive space’. Correspondingly, I will show attempts by local authorities in cities such as New York and London to ‘design out’ and cleanse public spaces of urban nomads. This exclusionary drive is fostered by an aesthetic conception of open space and by blindness to its social use. In the British case, I will argue, this approach might have been influenced by the Urban Task Force’s (mis)understanding of the public space. Lastly, based on the notion of ‘radical democracy’, as articulated by Rosalyn Deutsche in Evictions, I will speculate what inclusive public space might be and will give an example of Transgressive Architecture projects that aim to create it.
  • Comments/Notes : KEYWORDS: inclusiveness, Urban Nomads, design out, street communities, streets. [paper 6 p.]