On 2012, the p_public team decided to envisage public space as a means and a place (or topos) of expression. The recent events, such as the “movement of squares” and the massive social demonstrations, place the public space in the centre of interest and restore certain questions as: On what bases is the modern public space structured? What does it expresses and who are expressed through public space? The wider social and economic crisis of nowadays, requires a new reconsideration of the form and the operation of public spaces. New ideas and policies adapted to the new living conditions, tend to determine the planning of public space. Extraordinary situations and randomly occurring events, impose changes and adaptations in the form of the public space or/and in the consciences of its users.
The lectures in the Centre for Mediterranean Architecture took place on the 9th and the 10th of June and were organized in four thematic units:
1. The expression of a viewpoint, as a parameter of planning public spaces.
It concerns public spaces intended to serve a certain concrete purpose: political, religious, social, economic or, cultural.
2. The configuration of public spaces, through their use.
The conscious or unconscious intervention of users in public spaces that leaves territorial imprint and determines its form and operation.
3. Provisional uses/Permanent identities.
The expression in public spaces that does not leave material traces but can affect or reverse its current identity in the eyes of the users.
4. Informal – conceptual forms of public spaces.
Means of communication that can be also characterized as public spaces in which a continuous exchange of opinions is realized, ideas and ways of expression (internet and other means of communication).
The theory became action outside of the premises of the Centre for Mediterranean Architecture. So, artistic events and interventions of all kinds, took place in selected points of Chania, aiming to re-establish the relation of public spaces of the town with both residents and visitors. Accent was given in using open unshaped, non-functional, abandoned spaces and in the alternative uses of existing public spaces.
The events took place on the 8, 9 and 10 of June 2012. Aim of these events, was to discover again our city, change the way we use, experience and conceive the natural and the urban landscape, along with respect to the traditions and the history of place.
The suggested points-places for the events, were the following:
Venetian Dockyards, Docks of Venetian Harbor, Dyke of Eastern Ditch, Municipal Market, Fortezza, Kanevaro street (next to the archaeological site), Splantzia square, Venetian Church of Saint Irene, Church of Saint Rokkos, Moceningo Rampant, Chapel Renier, the swimming-pool space of former Hotel Xenia, former factory of AVEA, urban void next to Giali Tzamisi, Town park, Amperia park etc.
The selected points were be linked via “artistic walks” in which the artists had the possibility of presenting their work. With the objective to embrace a big part of the city, a network of artistic paths were created, along which the citizens and/or the visitors were able watch a line of events. In this way, the citizens and the visitors experienced familiar and not familiar places within a different context of use.
Via this interactive movement, an alternative view of the public spaces of the city emerged.