In recent decades, architecture has been seen as a field of practice that contributes greatly to the performativity of public space. In spite of the explosion of virtual communities through social media and the limitations imposed by pandemics, architecture today still holds an active role in (literally) building our societies. Bearing in mind its acute politicisation in past years, Living Politics in the City looks at public space from the perspective of architecture and its effective contribution, not as a prop but as an actual catalyst for embodying politics. The essays gathered here span five continents, activating various disciplinary approaches to architecture and examining it in different contexts: from a Palestinian refugee camp to the most vibrant urban axis in Sao Paolo, from the numerous city squares around the world crowded with rebellious populations, to the proximal politics of housing in Australia.
Carmen Popescu is professor of architectural history at the School of Architecture in Rennes (ENSA Bretagne). She is the initiator and organiser of the research group Transgressing the Normed Space (started in 2017). Marion Hohlfeldt is associate professor of contemporary art history at Rennes 2 University and Director of the Graduate School for Creative Approaches on Public Space.