Components, barriers or actors

November 27, 2018

“Collective equipments are the social unconscious of the city” Guattari

“The function of collective equipments is to record and fix, and therefore paralize the fluxe” Fourquet

As Simone Brott illustrate with the example of “the road” in Foucault’s words, the infrastructure can define who will be legal or illegal, who is the agent of power or the looter, the production and the demand, and manifests that the equipment of power must be reversed. Therefore, the infrastructure divides subjects into normals and abnormals, human and nonhuman, the empowered people and the vulnerable group.

In this study case, the components which configure the scenario are part of different infrastructures. The facades of the buildings which enclose the square are the faces of some institutions, what stresses even more the public aspect of the space, due to they are usually open to the public during workhours. The fountain, on the other hand, works as a decoration element, which tries to dignify and give some kind of character to the square. The road just serves as a transport infrastructure part of the old urban structure of the old town, it was actually the widest street of the neighbourhood. In that road, there are also few bars which give to the square some life because of the terraces, and they create kind of break in the fluxes. It is in those terraces where people stop and enjoy the square. It is also important to highlight the presence of the Church of La Mercè, who is the Virgin of Grace, patron saint of Barcelona. Its role in the square is the monumentality, to show the power of the church institution and to frame the square as the main element. Due to this fact, the lighting infrastructure was designed to preserve that esthetical aspects instead of helping or supporting the users. The people would be the last component of the site, a dynamic element which generates fluxes that use the public space in many different ways, and many times in a very unconscious way.

However, although all these components seem to work well with each other during the day, they fail at night, because the main collective equipment that has to support them it is clearly missing some aspects. Therefore, the dialogue becomes awkward and the scenarios highlight the inequalities, framing the people and almost classifying them into social accepted groups or marginal groups.

 

03_Lucia

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