Contested Spaces

For many people, the term ‘contested spaces’ immediately conjures up an image of hard concrete walls or high fences euphemistically known as the ‘peace walls’. Walls however are not what define spaces. It’s the people who build them that do.


The battle for ownership in our culture seems to be on going with no visible end. Whether it is our streets, shopping malls, play grounds, the virtual world, our houses or legal spaces, the conflict continues.




The environment is shared. It is we who choose to divide it into public space and private space. This brings up questions of who is allowed to use a space, when and in what way. Do we essentially own these spaces or do we borrow and occupy them?


In our virtual world, we like and share other people’s work. As designers we take “inspiration” from others’ work. Sometimes I question whether that’s okay. Maybe, just may be we are intruding their mind space? Unknowingly, we seek their brilliance and twist it up a little to make it our own.


For example, A takes inspiration from B’s work to form something new. A initiated the idea so it must be his to own. At the same time, B changed it around and added to it. It must be his as well. Who really has the right to “OWN” it?


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