News for December 2013

The New Structure: 2014 Schedule

The New Structure is a series of presentations exploring architectures of the community, the urban fabric, design, environments, the poetic, the body, space, and the imagination. What are the ways of examining and exploring “place”? This is a series of investigation, discussion, experimentation, performance, and storytelling. It is a platform promoting the creation of new forms and definitions of placemaking and experiencing space. The New Structure invites practitioners of diverse disciplines to share their unique engagements with these themes.


The New Structure is free, all ages, and open to the public. Due to limited seating, we do ask you to please RSVP for each event you plan to attend on Suggested donation at the door to support Project Cityscope. Thank you Hand2Mouth for providing Shout House for these events.


All events will take place at Hand2Mouth’s studio Shout House 210 SE Madison St. Suite 11, Portland, OR 97214 unless otherwise noted.



001 | Monday, February 24, 7:00pm
Coleman Stevenson & Nora Wendl



002 | Saturday, March 15, 2:00pm (special location: YU | 800 SE 10th Ave.)
Marathon reading of Lisa Robertson’s Occasional Work and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture



003 | Monday, April 21, 7:00pm
Garrick Imatani & Kaia Sand



004 | Monday, June 16, 7:00pm (special location: Doug Fir | 830 E. Burnside St.)
Lead Pencil Studio’s Annie Han & Daniel Mihalyo


005 | Monday, July 28, 2014

Lisa Ward



006 | Monday, August 18, 7:00pm
Linda Austin, Pat Boas & Linda Hutchins


007 | Monday, October 20, 7:00pm
Grace Hwang & Dawn Stoppielo



008 | Monday, September 15, 7:00pm
Ian Whitmore



009 | Monday, November 17, 7:00pm
Julie Perini


010 | Monday, December 15, 7:00pm
Tere Mathern

Posted: December 21st, 2013
Categories: The New Structure
Comments: No Comments.

Kelly Schirmann: What is public space?


The public is anyone I could conceivably meet. They let me look at them freely while they are walking or eating lunch. They let me think thoughts about them like COAT or MOTHER. I am the public to the public as well. We are the cave walls for each other’s echoes & we are permitted to yell what we want.

The privates stay in their private spaces & both control exchange. There are gates there, & a specific sky. In the private spaces, every body has been solicited. If they are walking or eating lunch it is on television, or with permission, or from behind a kind of fence. The fence is created for you to think a specific thought. It is built from the way you feel about there being a fence in the first place.

The public space is anywhere the public could conceivably go, & me too. I walk through the public spaces, eating my lunch. The public spaces hold me inside them, my sandwich & shoes & direction. My hello & angry face. The public space invites me to think thoughts about it, & I do. I think BENCH or POWER or SAFE. I think BEAUTIFUL & these are the spaces I like the most. I think BEAUTIFUL & I sit in the beauty & it rubs off on me, the public. I think BEAUTIFUL & I feel much better that this is a place we could all conceivably sit.


KELLY SCHIRMANN is the co-author of Nature Machine (Poor Claudia) & half of the band Young Family, whose second EP will be released from Spork Press this year. She lives, writes, sings, & makes in Portland, Oregon.

Posted: December 18th, 2013
Categories: What is Public Space?
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“If the structure does not permit dialogue, the structure must be changed.” —Paulo Freire

Posted: December 12th, 2013
Categories: General Interest, The New Structure
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“Human bodies employ specific navigation mechanisms to guide themselves through complex spatial layerings. This complexity is compounded in an urban context where moments of openness and closeness affect our bodily movements directly towards clarification or confusion. When space is delineated and limited, how can it host multiplicities of experiences based on individual movement within and round it? Can designed space predict and destabilize assumptions at the same time?”



Posted: December 11th, 2013
Categories: General Interest, The New Structure
Comments: No Comments.

Artists at Work: Marjetica Potrč (Interview with Berit Fischer)


Berit Fischer: Do you think the understanding of public space has changed?

Marjetica Potrč: Yes, the appreciation and understanding of public space has definitely changed. In the 1960s, people celebrated public space, but today people celebrate community space. In the ideology of twentieth-century Modernism, the public space is intended to be for everyone, but, as you know, it often ends up being for no one. Today people no longer dream about living in a big metropolis, they want to live in stronger, smaller parts of the city, in neighbourhoods; in people’s minds the city is shrinking into smaller parts. It is no longer about existing in a city of anonymous individuals. The city, according to our gardening community, is the sum of ‘socially conscious individuals’; they see themselves as part of a community and they like to share, to exchange stories. They exchange knowledge, not only vegetables. The community garden is an actual physical space where residents begin the process of reappropriating the city – at a time when people live in an abstract space of production and democracy is managed from above. It is important for the survival of our cities that the people who live in them feel that they are the city. By cultivating their community garden, the citizens reclaim the city. This is a symbolic process, a ritual.

BF: Maybe the public space needs to be recognised more along the lines of a civil space, a space for communication and the exchange of knowledge?

MP: Yes, I agree. It is always a question of what comes first, the chicken or the egg – the city or the citizens? Of course, it is the citizens. People change the city by reimagining it. Our cities are experiencing a transformation; they are ‘downscaling’ from the idea of the metropolis to much humbler, smaller cities composed of neighbourhoods. There are many reasons why this is happening – for instance, the economic contraction, sustainability questions that need to be resolved on the local level, and so on.


[Read the rest of the interview at Afterall]

Posted: December 2nd, 2013
Categories: General Interest, The New Structure
Comments: No Comments.