shared_GROUND is the choice to build the stand around a generous area of unoccupied space. By making it the central focus of the intervention, space becomes a resource and a moment of opportunity.
Defining free space is a cultural, social and political act thatestablishes space and architecture as a collective discourse. It is a moment of responsibility, generosity and humanity that identifies our shared values: inclusion, accessibility, belonging, social equity, debate.
The performative surface offers space for both event activities – debates, presentations, children workshops and everyday use – hanging-out, reading, playing. It allows for a repertoire of practices where space is negotiated through particular and temporary needs. Spatial production becomes an ongoing act. The dark surface of the stand becomes an object of collective creativity as a background for chalk drawing and writing. The possibility of direct interaction is one means of engagement and individual expression, empowering people with freedom of choice and autonomy. The play area is another space for interaction where the position of individual sitting units can define various scenarios of use and spatial configuration. Allowing and planning for variation creates space for tracing collective imagination and reflects patterns of social life.
The expression of the border is defined both through permeability and openness and as a space of specific programme and function that aids the activities of the unoccupied space. The border is the space that mediates the shared_GROUND with the context of the book fair and it creates the first possibilities of engagement with the space.
The perimetral timber frame structure leaves two sides open to create a continuous platform where one can sit, wait and relax in the middle of the active atmosphere of the fair. The other two sides offer a set of defined spaces such as the exhibition area, the book selling space, the info point, some storage units and a separate access for people with limited mobility and wheelchair users.The use of light helps further define and accentuate the children illustration exhibition and the book selling area.
The project is based on the conviction that space goes beyond design becoming built and lived. It is performative and therefore representative through its occupation and expression. Architecture constructs the GROUND and lives it built but unfinished, as a suggestion that remains to be continued by the experience of movement and use. Construction is not the final act, as space is continuously defined and re-defined through use. To achieve this freedom the unoccupied space transcends a clearly defined programme to allow for diversity and flexibility. When space is a resource, the void is the place of possibility, chance and adaptation. Liberated space is a cultural expression of living closer together.