Mapping Publics

Flavien Menu attended Mapping Publics event at Gothenburg Design Festival

Today, we need to be aware that the discursive rendering of the concept of so-called “public space” is often no more than a nostalgic veneer. This is not to say that public space –– conceptually –– is something that is not worth defending, but –– rather –– that public space as a term and “practice” needs to be redefined in the overall framework of the contemporary condition.

Today, we are facing a situation in which it would be naive to talk about THE public. The public, as a political imaginary, is mostly a projected ideal, an idealized longing for a somewhat homogeneous entity, which is factually inexistent.

Today, we have to redefine the human factor within the public sphere of what we will refer to as PUBLICS: a heterogeneous landscape composed of a plethora of multi-scaled actors, stakeholders and constituencies, who –– together –– form a reality, which situates itself in the so-called public sphere. To paraphrase Lenin: what is to be done?