Flynn and Jingxian’s Individualistic Public Park

When we got the papers we found it was a little difficult to combine individualism and public into one design. There seemed to be a conflict – It is meant to be a public park, but also individualistic. To help with this, we decided to define ‘individualistic’ as individualistic people – people who reject conformity. Individualistic people would like to think and do things in their own way, rather than imitating other people. They hold the belief that people should have the greatest possible personal freedom [collins dictionary]. In an individualistic public park, people should have the opportunity to do whatever they wish, however as this is a public place, they must actually conform to laws and customs. This is unavoidable. We decided it would be best if people could decide what to do in their individualistic area, which can be achieved by using private donation to shape what function different fields could serve. With this in mind, we designed our public park as in the following figure.

There are two areas in the park, separated by a path or river running through the middle. One section is made up of functional fields for the individualistic, who may decide on their own what they do with their space, the other is a grassland like in normal public parks for everyone to share. We don’t want to decide what the functional fields should be for the individualistic, so they can bring what they want to use and donate goods to the space for other members of the public to use. This allows individuals to define what function this plot should serve. We imagine there would be a barbecue field with separated grill shelves, a book field where people can donate books and do some reading, and enclosed buildings for storage and events, all of these goods would be donated to the land by the public and free to use by all. The purpose of allowing individuals to donate is to allow any person to define their space and express their individuality, however, after a while the park may become too busy/cluttered and prohibit individualism. The public area of the park would be kept clean and open, so that individuals have clear and open space to do as they please and not have to conform to other individuals’ donations and use of the space.

We also considered other problems that might occur relating to donated equipment and goods, e.g. free-rider and theft problems. To counteract these problems, we considered regulating the donations, perhaps through planning permissions or expiration dates on donations, so items circulate through time, rather than pile up. We could also implement a swapping/sharing system with for smaller items such as books, so you give at least equal to what you take. Maybe individuals would have to scan their IDs or QR Codes – perhaps this infringes on people’s individuality?

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