Docomomo International wishes to share that today will be the inauguration of the exhibition “Habitar Portugal 12 – 17 / Espaço Público: uma casa para todos” [Habitar Portugal 12 – 17 / Public Space: a home for everyone] at Centro Cultural de Belém, CCB / Garagem Sul, Lisbon. For the inauguration will be held a conference at 18H30 entitled “Espaço Público: Porquê?” [Public Space: why?], with Andreia Garcia, Rita Palla Aragão, Tiago Castela, as well as the exhibition commissioners Susana Lobo and Ricardo Agarez.
“Under the motto “Public Space: a home for everyone”, the 6th edition of Habitar Portugal is dedicated, for the first time, exclusively to the design of the “void”. More specifically, of the collective “void”. Space “from everyone” and “for everyone”. Void that is also Architecture. This is the distinctive character of the exhibition Habitar Portugal 12-17. The theme and its installation, precisely, in the context that informs this edition: the public space.
The set of selected works will allow the identification of the most significant themes and reflections launched in the disciplinary debate on public space, providing, at the same time, a reading of its meaning for the city and contemporary society. There is, however, a terminological issue here. What is understood today by “public space”? The promiscuous use of the term to classify any intervention in unbuilt space and the widespread interpretation of public space as a singular fact, regardless of the structure that supports it, have contributed to the emptying of this concept in what it implies of urbanity, or urban quality. On the other hand, we are witnessing a growing overlapping of the areas of intervention of architectural practice and urban design, opening the way to uncertainty and, so, the emergence of new typological categories, and diluting the boundaries between public and private. It is therefore important to clarify the criteria that inform the choice and ranking of works submitted for consideration.
Organized into four categories – Symbol, Resource, Product and Practice -, it is proposed the seriation of the works according to the phenomenological approach that supports them, to their dimensions of “representation”, “common good”, “communication” and ” design”. This categorization, although not linear, will reveal the policies and interests that have guided the production of public space in recent years, enabling a kind of diagnosis of Portuguese architectural culture.
The exhibition will be present at CCB / Garagem Sul until 1st November 2021.