SOCIAL DESIGN

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Originally published in ELLE Decoration UK May 2019

From Trafalgar Square to Taksim Square, or the Bristol Bearpit to Brighton’s North Laine, public spaces in their myriad forms connect the citizens and spaces of our best cities. “Climates and cultures differ all over the world,” wrote Danish architect, urbanist and the patron saint of public space Jan Gehl, “but people are the same. They will gather in public if you give them a good place to do it.” As the increasing privatisation of these spaces sweeps through London and other Western cities, it is ever more important to remind ourselves of their value as social and political assets worth defending. According to director and president of Berlin’s Academy of Fine Arts, Jeanine Meerapfel, public spaces aren’t just a nice place to hang out, but “an achievement of democratic society”.

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Originally published in ELLE Decoration UK May 2019

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