I have recently become interested in the correlation between the public occupation of a physical space in relationship with the contemporary impact of social media upon the perception of public engagement. You no longer need to venture outside of your house to “meet up” with your friend, instead you can simply go onto Facebook, twitter, Instagram, check your emails or insta-message with friends. You can easily see what your friends did last weekend, whom got in a relationship with whom, or likewise when a relationship ended. Not only can you interact with your 500 plus “friends” easily on these forms of social media, you can also meet and interact with strangers. But is this really a beneficial component of social media? How does this form of communication impact urban design, especially the necessity of public spaces within cities?
Whether you are in Denver (USA), Valparaíso, or Budapest the impact of social media is a global trend. Across the world people are using social media to connect and engaged with friends. I agree that sites such as Facebook are helpful in the sense of connecting people from various parts of the world, using social media as a platform for sharing information, technology and news, and additionally as a way to bring attention to events, NGOs, and other forms of advertising. However, social media has taken away the spark of spontaneity that is present when you meet or interact with someone face to face. I recently deleted my Facebook for the mere reason that I want to regain that spark within my own life. I want to talk with strangers, I want to observe life, I want to heighten my senses of the real world around me.
I want to challenge what the current definition of architecture and urban design means. Is it aiding in the process of creating spaces for social interaction? Or is further privatizing our lives? Is there a possibility to revitalize cities and buildings to provide spaces that bring back the concept physical interaction? I hope to explore these question through observations and analysis of public spaces not only within Budapest, but throughout other cities and countries.