Public Square Studio

American common space is in a state of flux. As demographics shift, technologies advance, cultural mores morph, and economies + politics churn, our cherished public spaces are becoming obsolete empty vessels of nostolgia. How can architects and urban desingers alter these spaces to accomodate the new and ever-changing character of American public space? This is the question that Kent State University's CUDC Fall 2006 Graduate Studio will investigate.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Century of Progress Exhibition of 1933 and 1934 in Chicago was used as a precedent for Public Square. After studying the makeup of the fair, I decided that the experiential qualities of the fair were of greater importance than the formal characteristics. To me, the essence of that world's fair was in the spectacle it created through the use of lighting and color. I translated this spectacle of light and color into a notion that Public Square can become an electrifying, even dizzying space of activity and motion through the use of light, video screens, projections, and other sorts of visual communication. Of course, this brings to mind places such as Times Square or Picadilly Circus. I was also intruiged by the temporal nature of the fair and how that could manifest itself in Public Square as an ever-changing form and experience. To sum-up this case study of the Century of Progress Exhibition as a precedent for a new Public Square, I would conclude that Public Square would then become a place of ever-changing spectacle where visual effect is more important than substance.

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