An Intersectional Analysis of Urban Public Interiors_lecture & paper

590 Madison Ave (IBM Building)
Building: Edward Larrabee Barnes (1984)
Atrium (landscape consultant): Zion & Breen
Atrium (special consultant): William Whyte

Moderators: Frédéric Bonnet, Obras & Momoyo Kaijima, Atelier Bow-Wow
Terrain Vague and Public Space

This paper and presentation proposes an analysis of New York City’s Interior Privately owned Public Spaces (INT POPS) and the quality of public space they generate. Intersectionality here is a methodology to examine key attributes of INT POPS simultaneously. This method offers opportunities to question prevailing typologies of the term public that are oppositional in nature; this opposition serves to occlude the mutually dependent nature of the types. INT POPS are vaguely programmed, bounded, enclosed and enable proximity, and generate a social space recognizable as an essential characteristic of urban life: a visible aggregation of individuals prior to definition as a collective. Without a simultaneous examination of the physical spaces themselves and the rules, laws and codes that govern them these spaces a false image of a universally accessible space is produced.

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