May 6, 2016

Quick Thoughts | In search of missing pieces

Overdesing (bad or good) kills public space. Form(ality) that doesn't take into account the behavior and psyche, instincts, habits, etc. of people - produces 'dead' zones. Skenderbeg square. Piramida steps. University district. Maybe planners and designers in #Albania ought to accept and further  study the growth and sustainability of informal neighborhoods. The intimacy of urban pockets, streetscapes, haphazard neighborhood hangouts, etc. Among other things, they have in common one thing: human scale. Monumentality of formal urban public space ought to not tread lightly on intent/scope. Is it for the people (stressing the public) or its immortality (stressing the monumental). Or we can accept or reject a design's worth (value/meaning) by purely subjective preferences, which would render all this conversation useless. It's like it never happened. All these years, all these proposals, all these public hearings, all these social media statements - they never happened. Uselessness makes things obsolete, most of the time that is - unless one knows what to do with it (recycle it somehow). But, I digress.
For all of you that have asked my opinion on the new 'privately-owned public projects' happening all over Albania, mainly in Tirana though - I say, there is no opinion (at the moment of this rant) because they never happened. I don't mean the project as a shell object, but its shelf-life. There is none because it was conceived as such. No backbone to hold it in place. No fundamentals to build up its complexity, its discourse, its polemic and... all the foundations. What are its consequences then? Well, spatially or humanisticly no more or less than the rest already built. The consequences to worry about right now are economic (with all that this entails). But just as the physical object, its financials are a shell, of a shell, of a shell, of a shell.... found along the beautiful sands in a remote island.  So, yes, this never happened. I wish these random thoughts could self destruct after reading too, but they will probably remain here, empty, until the next round of these discussions. They will be forgotten after being read by each one of you though, so in a way, they'll be destroyed over and over. An overkill for each overly-designed project and public conversation I guess.

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