Anti, Anti-Objects: How We Create, Interact with, and Disrupt Them explores Manhattan's expectation of its society through the lens of hostile public architecture. The term “hostile architecture,” in the context of this thesis, targets problem spaces such as anti-objects and beauty versus functionality, both of which involve the concept of unwelcoming structures that ward off certain demographics.
Anti-objects are defined as ironic objects that counteract the original intent of the invention. An example of this would be a public bench that, through design, allows people to sit on it without becoming comfortable enough to want to lay down or stay for an extended period of time. Beauty versus functionality describes objects and architecture that are made to look beautiful and compliment a space, while deterring certain crowds and the original intended use of the object.
My thesis seeks to bring awareness to the underlying intentions of these public structures, and asks the audience – being commuters, people in transit, or homeless, to engage in counteracting hostile things. Through education, disruption, and collaboration, this project challenges what structures are placed where within public spaces, and how this reflects on what a city expects from its society.
Taking a break from our daily interactions with public space during the Covid-19 pandemic provided me with a quiet window of opportunity that allowed for the presentation of a new, alternative way for the audience to view and respond to hostile architecture. Those who encounter Anti, Anti-Objects: How We Create, Interact with, and Disrupt Them, will reenter public space with an informed, conscious outlook that will harvest new uses, counteractions, and change in public space.
Below is a link to the project's website: