"The theme of the lecture addresses a question: how can we design spaces in the city which encourage strangers to cooperate? To explore this question, I'll draw on research in the social sciences about cooperation, based on my book, and relate this research to current issues in urban design."
(Harvard Graduate School of Design, 28 February 2012)
"In a brief but suggestive passage from his Ten Books on Architecture, Leone Battista Alberti, the fifteenth-century Renaissance poet, philosopher, and architect, sets public performance into a frame of social exchange. His subject being architecture, he arrives in his eighth book at the point of discussing 'Places for publick Shows.' ...
In placing the Actor within the wider category of public shows, Alberti reminds us of the organic connections among all forms of performance. He is at the opposite pole from Aristotle who considered drama a branch of literary art. What Alberti identifies as Show, Aristotle catalogued as an inferior part of tradegy: spectacle. Alberti's practice coincided with and reinforced the practice of his contemporaries and successors. Until the renaissance, most of these were rhetoricians. Their five parts of rhetoric-the number into which the subject was most frequently divided-included delivery. Here, it would seem, was an opportunity to discuss public performance since delivery concerned the manner of speaking. But quite contrary. Writing on delivery illustrates the conventional and persistent subordination of the event of speaking to the composition of speech. So prevalent was this way of ordering the parts of rhetoric and poetics that rare indeed was the person who conceived of performance as an independent entity."
(Bernard Beckerman, 1990)
Beckerman, Bernard. 1990 p.Prologue X. Theatratical Presentation, New York, USA: Routledge.
"While today's mobile communication tools readily connect us to friends and known acquaintances, we lack mobile devices to explore and play with our subtle, yet important, connections to strangers and the unknown - especially the Familiar Strangers whom we regularly see. Will these systems provide a new lens to visualise and navigate our urban spaces? How will these systems provide an interface to strangers and unknown urban settings? What will such devices look like? How will we interact with them? What will they reveal about ourselves and strangers? Will they alter our perception of place? Of the strange and unknown?"
(Eric Paulos and Elizabeth Goodman)