​SOM Thinkers: The Future of Public Space

Routine discussions on public space omit a gamut of possibilities ripe for critical discussion. In a collection of short but intellectually invigorating reads, The Future of Public Space reflects on these possibilities beyond typical contexts, exploring a wide variety of impacts that different types of public space—urban and rural, real and virtual—can have on everyday experiences in an increasingly privatized world. Amplifying voices beyond those within the discipline of conventional architecture criticism, this book considers how such experiences might change in the future.

The Future of Public Space is the second volume in the SOM Thinkers series, conceived by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. SOM Thinkers originated from a desire to start a public conversation about the built environment. Rather than frame the subject in the expected “professional” language, the series poses today’s most pressing questions about design and architecture in a bold and accessible way.

This volume features work by Allison Arieff, Michelle Nijhuis, Jaron Lanier, Rachel Monroe, China Miéville, Christopher DeWolf, Ben Davis, and Sarah Fecht, with artwork by Lawrence Weiner.

Read the following essays from The Future of Public Space online:

“The Future of Public Art in Five Phases” by Ben Davis (Docomomo US)
“Sensory Navigation in Hong Kong” by Christopher DeWolf (Next City)
“Eyes in the Sky: Being Watched in the Rural West” by Rachel Monroe (Medium)
“The Public in Outer Space” by Sarah Fecht (Fast Company Co.Design)

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