Designers have long been concerned with new and visionary types of public space to support socially oriented human interaction whether through spatial or technological means, from utopian city visions. Many have questioned how to extend these ideas beyond simply enabling communication, trade, and coexistence to foster a more collective understandings and vision.
In the contemporary world, there is a new public space that is substantially virtual- facebook, internet- blogging, but still significantly dominated by individualism and projection of the self. But there is potential to turn the same technology to more collective ends, confronting issues such as carbon and climate change that demand a broader basis for collective interaction.
The project addresses how recent technological advances in computing, communication, sensing, and actuation can be retrofitted to the visionary city of the immediate past to foster concurrent interaction in physical and virtual public space. This is a call to empower and reawaken the social citizen.
PUBLIC GARDENS arises from the ecological utopian idea of a perfect society that has been intentionally created by the community for escapism in a garden that provides a semi-private space. With the purpose of momentarily freeing the busy individuals of Melbourne from their over-engaged lifestyles, the Public Gardens aims to provide this by bringing back natural elements, and utilise them as the primary material of the space. The Public Gardens will focus on planting air-filtering plants on the exterior wall, while growing local flowers and herbs on the interior. Additionally, for the purpose of developing an individual’s sense of belonging to the society, the maintenance of these Public Gardens will be orchestrated and performed by local individuals that have been gathered through a website based community.