Public space

Sidewalk, street style and sandwich by Aleksandra Shekutkovska


I was always wondering about the spiritual sensations I would experience if I would go back to Zurich. When I moved to Bangkok, the experiences from Switzerland were coming back to me. The day when I reached Osaka interesting enough was the birthday of one of my closest friends from Zurich, Sonja.

And there it was, that feeling of Zurich once more, this time differently spreading both in the interior and the exterior. In Osaka from the placement of smallest objects to the whole planning and organization of the city everything is modeled by regulations. In the same time every gesture, sign, landscape and composition in space is a manual of aesthetics.

While trying delicious matcha ice cream which touches all the senses, I am wondering not only about the formal factors that speak about the development of the city quality, rather for the informal factors which reveal the aesthetics of the urban living.

Sidewalk, streetstyle and sandwiches

The sidewalk is probably the map of the context’s culture, behavior and level of development for one society. The pedestrian circulation is almost in flying, the dimensions, available accesses, purification from too many urban elements, denivelations and accessibility are modeling in total the comfort of the pedestrian in the urban tissue. The physical boundaries which separate the zones, streets, buildings, greenery and sidewalk have been planed top down, however they are incredibly soft; the movement on the sidewalk gives us the feeling of moving on an invisible escalator.

The street fashion is a sketch for the quality of the city. The clothes, combinations, the quality of the materials and especially the question with what you achieve the accent in a certain composition all speak about the relationship, culture and behavior towards the city. Street fashion is a reader: starting from the domination of a certain style, to exceptional cases of anti-fashion, leaving the city as a background. They exists both in a symbiotic connection similar to the gallery space and the artwork.

The sandwich. Although the foodscape of Japan is much more different and packaged than what I experience on a daily basis in Bangkok, the food and its texture triggers all of the senses and unites the architecture of the city’s soul. Quality of street food and food in general is an indication of the level of quality of one city.

And there it is in a different way, feeling my Zurich once more. This time spreading inside and outside. Trapped in a silent, attentive, cultural and civilized aesthetics in each and every detail of the exterior and interior of my soul and my thoughts for the city.



Отсекогаш се прашував за душевните сензации доколку повторно се вратам во Цирих. Кога се преселив во Бангкок, доживувања од Цирих ме пресретнуваа. Денот кога пристигнавме во Осака чудесно поврзано беше роденденот на Соња една од моите најблиски пријателки од Швајцарија.

И ете го чувството на Цирих повторно, овојпат и внатрешно и надворешно. Во Осака од поставеноста на секој предмет до целосната организација и планирање на градот се е исткаено со регулации, истовремено секој гест, знак, пејсаж и композиција во просторот е учебник за естетика.

Вксувајќи мача-сладолед кој со својот вкус и текстура се лепи и ги освојува сите сетила, се прашувам не само за формалните фактори кои зборуваат за развиеноста, квалитетот на градот туку и за оние неформалните фактори кои прават пресек на естетиката на градското живеење.

Тротоар, улична мода и сендвичи

Тротоарот е веројатно мапата на културата, однесувањето и степенот на развиеност на едно општество. Пешачката циркулација е скоро во лет, неговите димензии, овозможени пристапи, прочистеност од урбани елементи, денивелации, проодност го обликуваат целосно комфорот на профилот пешак во урбаното ткиво. Физичките граници кои ги делат зоните, улиците, објектите, зеленилото и тротоарот се авторативно решени меѓутоа бескрајно меки, движењето на тротоарот се чини како движење на невидлив ескалатор.

Уличната мода е скица за квалитетот на градот. Облеката, комбинациите, квалитетот на материјалите и особено прашањето со што се постигнува акцентот во дадената композција зборуваат за односот, културата и пристапот кон градот. Уличната мода е читанка: најпрвин одредена стилска доминација, потоа исклучителни примери на анти-мода, оставајќи го градот како позадина и истовремено во прв план, во реципрочен однос како уметничкото дело и галерискиот простор.

Сендвич. Иако фудскејпот на Јапонија е поинаков и значително по спакуван од она што секојдневно го доживувам во Бангкок, храната, нејзината естетика и текстура ги обзема сите сетила и ја обединува архитектониката на душата во градот. Нејзинот квалитет истовремено зборува за квалитетот и развиеноста на градот.

И ете го повторно на некој поинаков начин мојот Цирих. Овојпат распределн и внатрешно и надворешно. Заробена во тивка, ненаметлива, културна и цивилизирана видлива естетика во секој еден детал на екстериерот и инетриерот во душата и мислата за градот

Signs by Aleksandra Shekutkovska



When I lived in Zurich I always had this feeling that “invisible” signs and urban elements shape the movement, behavior and usage of the urban space. In highly developed societies biopolitics sets the principles of our individual role as users of urban space. Moving through different contexts I have learned that biopolitics is merely another lens through which we can read the physical shape, planning of the city to understand consequently the acting of the urban dwellers.

In my working days at the campus usually I walk from the station to the Architecture faculty. There is a covered walkway which also gives the opportunity to cycle (the existence of proper pedestrian walkways in Thailand context is always highly valued because of the very lack of it, the high concentration of cars, the fact that most of these places are usually occupied by informal activities, vendors...). Few weeks ago I noticed new signs of the pedestrian walkway. The path has been separated into two paths, one that is for pedestrian movement and the second one for pedestrians who use their mobile phones called very simply [TEXT WAY].

At first I thought what an interesting title. A path to create text, like the pedestrian is going to move and write a story, a poem, part in their diary, to shape a poetic picture in word while you are moving through one space. At the same time around the campus lines of yellow paths also appeared with a rough surface in order for the blind people to orientate themselves. I highly appreciated this initiative, however if we are back to this pedestrian path, why would we encourage blindness? Isn’t the path like this making us blind, first for our self, then for the people walking around us with whom we can share our text, then to the whole landscape, context around us, what are we trying to close our eyes to ? Every sign in urban space creates, shapes movement and behavior, and contributes to creating biopolitics in urbanscape. These days I am observing the effect: confused students, part of the walk on this path isolated with their mobile phone screen following the text way, like they have been called through this sign, part of them hitting the others confused because they still follow their old habits to walk through this trail. The power of sign, of one single urban element to set a structure of our behavior in a certain course is confusing me and inspiring me at the same time while I walk feeling like an anarchist on the text way with my head up.



Кога живеев во Цирих ми се чинеше деканевидливизнаци и урбани елементи го обликуваат движењето, однесувањето и користењето на урбаниот простор. Во виско развиените општества биополитиката ги поставува принципите на нашата улога како корисници на урбаниот простор. Во различни географски контексти биополитиката претставува уште една леќа низ која можеме да го разбереме најпрвин физичкото обликување, планирање на градот за последователно да го разбереме движењето, однесувањето и користењето на урбаните жители.

Во работните денови на кампусот кадешто работам вообичаено пешачам од станицата до Архитектонскиот факултет. Пешачката патека е покриен простор којшто дава можност дополнително и за движење со точак ( постоењето на пешачки патеки во Тајландскиот контекст е секогаш предност заради големата концентрација на автомобилски сообраќај, неформалното окупирање со продавачи на храна, предмети..). Пред неколку недели изненадено забележав нови знаци. Пешачката патека со сина боја се поделила на две патеки, едната за движење на пешаци, другата за пешаци со мобилни телефони наречена text way.

На почеток звучи интересно како термин. Патека за создавање текст, небаре пешакот може да се движи и ќе напише приказна, песна, дневник, дека ќе заокружи поетска слика во збор додека минува низ тој простор. Истовремено на други места се појавија жолти патеки со нерамна материјализација за пешаци кои имаат проблеми со видот. Меѓутоа зошто да создаваме слепило ? Зарем патеката како оваа не не прави слепи, најпрвин за себе, потоа за луѓето кои минуваат покрај нас со кои би можеле да споделиме текст сопствен, индивидуален за на крај за целиот контекст и околина околу нас. Секој знак во урбаниот простор создава, обликува движење, дали постои видливост за нас како корисници на биополитиката во урбаниот простор? Деновиве ги набљудувам реперкусиите, збунети студенти дел од нив одат по патеката изолирани во сопствените мобилни телефони следејќи ја текстуалната патека, почувствувани дека се повикани преку знак, дел од нив се удираат во нив збунето бидејќи се навикнати да одат по својата вообичаена патека без знак, поделби и слепило. Моќта на знакот, на еден единствен урбан елемент да постави структура на нашето однесување во одредена насока ме збунува и восхитува истовремено одејќи анархично со кренат поглед на текстуалната патека.


Three urban scenarios of living published in Porta 3 magazine by Aleksandra Shekutkovska

Architecture magazine Porta 3 has published the Thong Lo BTS trilogy: Three urban scenarios of living. 

“The creative milieu represented in Thong Lo trilogy is a small scale personification of the essential identity of Bangkok. The differences in the spatial dialogue, the pedestrian trajectories, public space and the iconography of the separate scenographies constitute a city- synthesis of distinctive users and happenings.”

Креативното милје прикажано во Трилогијата Тонглор го персонифицира есенцијалниот идентитет на Бангкок во помал размер. Разликите во просторниот дијалог, пешачките траектории, јавниот простор и иконографијата на сите поединечни сценографии го прават градот синтеза од различни корисници и случувања”. 


Preparing for MaPS. Mastering Public Space by Aleksandra Shekutkovska




By City Space Architecture

City Space Architecture is proud to announce a series of events for the presentation of first year's results of "MaPS. Mastering Public Space", international research project, that will take place May 23-31, 2015 in Italy.

MaPS is a collaborative research network involving more than 25 leading Universities and institutions all around the world. It promotes a critical reflection on public space, in a multidisciplinary field of action. 

MaPS works on education, research and innovative, human-oriented design.

MaPS is part of an international debate on public space and urbanity. It is a network of cities from Argentina, United States of America, Canada, Italy, Spain, Greece, Crete, Germany, UK, Sweden, Lebanon, Cyprus, Israel, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Thailand, China, Malaysia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

MaPS involves scholars together with undergraduate, graduate and PhD students from:
National Technical University of Athens, Greece / University of Auckland, New Zealand / Thammasat University, Thailand / UPC – Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain / QUT – Queensland University of Technology, Australia / Universidad de Palermo, Argentina / Lebanese American University, Lebanon / University of Canberra, Australia / Illinois Institute of Technology, USA / Università di Bologna, Italia / The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China / Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Israel / Taylor’s University, Malaysia / University of Nicosia, Cyprus / Carleton University, Canada / KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden / co+labo Radovic, Keio University, Japan / Università degli studi di Firenze, Italy / National Taiwan University, Taiwan

and professionals from:
Barcelona / Beirut / Berlin / Bologna / London / Mostar / Tripoli
and non-profit cultural associations such as:
International Society of Biourbanism / Labirinto: Culture e Civiltà Mediterranee



On May 23, 2015, at the III Biennale dello Spazio Pubblico the results of the first year of MaPS’s activities will be presented and discussed during an international workshop, involving all affiliated members. The Biennial is a national event promoted by the Italian Institute for Urban Planners in collaboration with the National Council of Architects that takes place at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Roma Tre.

On May 24, 2015, MaPS will be presented at MAXXI B.A.S.E in Rome, during an international symposium and exhibition. MAXXI is the National Museum of the XXIst Century Arts in Rome, it is an Italian leading institution, well-known internationally.

After the Roman events, MaPS will travel across Italy, it will reach Ascoli Piceno, a case study of Jan Gehl’s investigations on public space, for a two-day photography workshop (May 27-28), then Urbino, the ideal city, and Bologna, where it will have another session (May 29) at the Urban Center

2 Lectures by Aleksandra Shekutkovska


Last week I was present at two lectures that covered two very distinctive city conditions. First one was by Dr. Prof. Nobuo Mishima from Saga University, Japan that took place at our faculty; the second one was by Joshua David co-founder of Friends of the High Line, New York which happened at Thailand Creative Design Centre .

Prof. Mishima presented the research that they have conducted on preservation of a historic local town with traditional heritage located in Ariake Lowland. What they have done is develop a two way evacuation route, since the traditional houses had a number of problems with fires and earthquakes. They had developed a thorough research on how the citizens of the town can evacuate easily through the small streets in the traditional old part. What came very interesting to me is that these trajectories of movement have been marked by them through PARTICIPATION with the citizens. They created a large database and conducted interviews which helped them understand the movement of the citizens, and to come to a conclusion which trajectory of movement would be the most suitable one for evacuation. They also worked financed by the Japanese government on preserving the traditional architecture with traditional materials, EXISTING landscape and nature. He pointed out that at the moment more public space and COMMON space was necessary, in order for the local settlers to engage with the newcomers. Their study was quite successful due to the PARTICIPATION with the locals and involving them in the process of preserving the town.

The second lecture was on New York’s High Line. Joshua David (journalist by profession) is one of the founders of the whole initiative for the High Line. I distinctively liked the way that he explained the process, the story of how it came to be. They started as a small group of people who appreciated the urban landscape of the train line and the vegetation that had appeared there over time (nature taking something man made). Because it was scheduled for demolition they started an initiative to talk about it in the media and bring attention to local communities and groups to realize what they have around them. The place had been studied by architects for a long time before that. After getting the support from mayor Bloomberg the situation was ready for the next step. Still I want to go back to that that even after the great success and the High Line being a public and social space for New Yorkers and tourists, I liked the fact that it still is involved in PARTICIPATION with the locals, be it from possibilities for them to showcase artwork, or to get employed in gardening the line. The High Line has a multiple role from a botanic garden-public space to a crucial social role for some groups of people. The whole project is developed and maintained by a private fund. Private philanthropy and donors are responsible for the realization of future plans for the High Line and its maintenance.

To think about urban design concepts in different contexts: initiatives, people participation, acknowledging, conflicts private/public, public/private space, private/public territory, reconstruction and perservance, relationship with the existing, relationship with the context, need for public space, need for common space, need for private space, society and individual interest, top down and bottom up initiatives.