Close Reading Public Space
Public Space Detective is an ongoing research project observing common and uncommon phenomena in public space. Floor van Ditzhuyzen founded the blog in March 2020 as a response to the world being in lockdown after COVID-19 struck. This unique, unprecedented situation emptied cities all over the world, rendering streets and squares void of publicness, and leaving public space in limbo.
Positively, the Corona-crisis also brought the resilience of public space to the surface; its capacity to bounce back, to transform, and provide room for new functions, programming and phenomena. The Public Space Detective blog is the result of Floor’s visual scavenging, roaming the streets of Rotterdam with the objective not only to document but also to unravel and question what is observed. What are we seeing here? What is really going on? Close reading public space.
About Floor van Ditzhuyzen
Floor is an architect, researcher, curator, and tutor with long-standing interest in, and experience with, public space. She is partner in the Rotterdam-based design studio Ontwerpwerkplaats, has won awards with projects like the Pop-Up Bus Stop and is founding partner of the international ‘We Love Public Space’ Festival.
What I find fascinating is that public space is the stage for our every-day, social-cultural interaction: we meet, eat, party, play, demonstrate and clash in public space. Thus, it is reflecting the changes and transformations that shape contemporary society.