Istructions to live the city by Ugo La Pietra
“The house in the street or the street in the house. Here is a design practice to develop!
Break the barrier between public and private space, create beneficial conflicts between these two worlds, now too rigidly separated.“
These two worlds, clearly separated, do not have a meeting point or elements in common.
That’s why I think that introducing elements that express the language of the street is important to be able to live at ease even in public spaces. We should be able to see the objects, lights and shapes that point us in the direction as a dialogue between the street and man himself rather than seeing them as a restriction of our freedom.
It is normal to have rules imposed in today’s society but then why not be able to appreciate their meaning and effectiveness.
Bringing in elements extrapolated from the street and giving them another function will make these symbols less aggresive and invasive and change our daily perspective.
Ugo La Pietra, aware of navigating within interdependent systems, converts the static instance of the aesthetic component into the dynamism of a scientific model. The fluidity of the critical mass where the operations take place, suggests him not to adopt a definitive model, but a plurality of protocols of which he calls to be part semiotic systems, optical effects, sound perceptions, visual amiguities, devices and multiple readings, etc..
“Use urban space as you use your own domestic space.”
This invitation from La Pietra to use urban space as a domestic space is a suggestion of how we must succeed in integrating in a positive way into our daily lives the forms of a language that has been imposed on us but which is essential to urban coexistence.
Comparing the furniture of the urban space (full of violence and separateness) with the furniture of the domestic space (comfortable well designed) is an exercise that makes us understand the barrier between public and private space.
“I photographed a series of urban objects and equipment in the city of Milan, tools that surround us every day and in every place the constraints, obstacles, separateness and violence of the city; so I redesigned them, turning their use: from “service” structures for the city to “furniture” structures for the home.
So I compared them to comfortable home furnishings full of affective values and significant qualities.
All this to indicate that the re-appropriation of the urban environment passes through the destruction of the barrier that exists between public and private space.”
Street furniture, the discipline born at the beginning of the eighties that was supposed to give meaning, value and identity to places, has quickly turned into a design field committed to giving shape to parking bollards, garbage bins, benches, barriers.
And while the councillor for street furniture asked designers to formulate “road supply” catalogues, “road signs” were growing in our cities.
I share this statement by Ugo La Pietra in part. I agree that the discipline of street furniture should have led to the creation of structures and services that would try to make every citizen feel at home even in public spaces. But I am also of the opinion that, living in a society made up of cultural differences and interests, it is not possible to find an “urban home” for everyone and that is why a “neutral” language understood by everyone has been developed.
The repossesion of the city:
The city is made by our behavior,
from our daily choices,
by how we set up the relationship
with the environment around us.
“ABITARE è ESSERE OVUNQUE A CASA PROPRIA”
“LIVING IS BEING AT HOME EVRYWHERE”