#whOWNSpace arises from the the questions that the #occupywallstreet movement has brought up about ownership and use of open space in New York City, North America, and cities around the world. On September 17th, 2011 the Occupy Wall Street movement brought new light to the privatization of the city when a group of activists occupied Zuccotti Park, a Privately Owned Public Space (POPS) in New York City’s Financial District. POPS legislation was developed in 1961 as a way to let developers negotiate building variances, often increasing the square footage of rentable space, in return for plazas and parks that should be open and welcoming to the public for multiple uses. The legislation has led to private entities building 3.5 million square feet of areas that they control but are, in theory, public. DSGN AGNC (team lead), along with collaborators, seeks to reveal conflict, question rules, advocate for design, and finally, intervene in public space.

LINKS: #whOWNSpace Collective Site
On the Question of #whOWNSpace by Quilian Riano, MASContext, 2012.
Which Public? Conflict as Catalyst by Quilian Riano, ARPA Journal (Columbia University), 2014
PRESS: The Nation Magazine | Domus | Village Voice | Kaleidoscope | Polis
Strike Art: Contemporary Art and the Post-Occupy Condition By Yates McKee, Verso Books, 2015.
Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Spaceedited by Ronald Shiffman, Rick Bell, Lance Jay Brown, Lynne Elizabeth, New Village Press, 2012.

This project is used to:

  • REVEAL conflicting rules and ownerships in the increasingly privatized and commercialized spaces that make up the contemporary neoliberal urban condition
  • QUESTION those rules and the current state of our “public” space; discussing the intentions and conditions surrounding our open spaces
  • ADVOCATE FOR AND PROPOSE uses and designs that encourage community activist use of urban open spaces in accordance to the Call to Action for the Rights of Neighborhoods 
  • INTERVENE in urban spaces, turning ideas and research into material action
  • We Create Tools that Reveal Spatial Conflict
    We Question Private Space
    We Question Public Space
    We Advocate for Change
    We Conceive of Alternatives for Collective use



    [#whOWNSpace website]


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