Opening Up Relations Again Between Form and the World: The City and the ‘Becoming’ of Forms: Design as the Outcome of a Dynamic Figuration

  • Lidia DecandiaEmail author
Part of the Urban and Landscape Perspectives book series (URBANLAND, volume 14)


There is no single way to define the concept of public space but many ways of materialising, in forms, a place of encounter between people. The idea of public space actually changes from one culture to another. It develops and alters constantly during the life of the forms themselves. None of the methods by which the idea of public space has materialised in a form have ever crystallised into something fixed and unchangeable, supported by eternal laws, but, on the contrary, were always subjected to the influx of time and had to count on it and live in it. Looking at the history of the city, we might say that each public space form that emerged was destined to disappear and make space, in a movement that continuously, dynamically transformed, for the emergence of new forms. Always and constantly at the mercy of chaos, of the precarious, fragile nature of time and death which devours, corrupts and consumes, man is constantly required to ‘refound’ his way of giving shape to the space of encounter between people, in the awareness that no form may ever be definitive. This chapter departs from these preliminary remarks to inquire into the sense of the project for public space in the contemporary city. While acknowledging the continuous ‘becoming’ of the forms through which the idea of public space has been expressed throughout time, the author invites the reader not to feel bewildered by the changes underway.

The idea the author intends to put to the test is that in order to accept the challenges posed by contemporary life, instead of continuing to look at the territory and city, regretting the breakdown of order and beauty that no longer exist, we should try to widen the borders of our view, to see whether it might be possible to find, behind the absurdity of those flows that appear to waver with no destination, fractures and clues, whispering of new spaces of interaction and relations that still today await their expression in forms.


Figuration Simulacrum Disorientation Vital relation Territorialisa­tion Deterritorialisation Density Multiplicity Haptic sense Erotic sense of knowledge Interactive environment 


  1. Berto G (1999) Freud, Heidegger. Lo spaesamento. Bompiani, MilanGoogle Scholar
  2. Branzi A (2006) Modernità debole e diffusa. Il mondo del progetto all’inizio del XXI secolo. Skira, MilanGoogle Scholar
  3. Calvino I (1972) Le città invisibili. Einaudi, TurinGoogle Scholar
  4. Cavarero A (2003) Filosofia dell’espressione vocale. Feltrinelli, MilanGoogle Scholar
  5. Cerchi P (1978) Paul Klee teorico. De Donato, BariGoogle Scholar
  6. De Martino E (1973) Il mondo magico. Turin, BoringhieriGoogle Scholar
  7. De Martino E (1977) La fine del mondo. Einaudi, TurinGoogle Scholar
  8. Deleuze G (1966) Le bergsonisme. Presses universitaires de France, Paris. Italian translation: (2001) Il bergsonismo e altri saggi. Einaudi, TurinGoogle Scholar
  9. Deleuze G (1981) Francis Bacon. Logique de la sensation. La Différence, Paris. Italian translation: Francis Bacon, Logica della sensazione. Quodlibet, MacerataGoogle Scholar
  10. Deleuze G (1988) Le pli. Leibniz et le Baroque. Les Éditions de Minuti, Paris. Italian translation: (2004) La piega. Leibniz e il Barocco. Tarizzo D (ed) Einaudi, TurinGoogle Scholar
  11. Deleuze G (2005) Frammenti di un’opera. Lapoujade D (ed) Derive Approdi, NaplesGoogle Scholar
  12. Deleuze G, Guattari F (1980) Mille plateaux. Capitalisme et Schizophrenie. Tome 1. Ed. de Minuti, Paris. Italian translation: (1987) Mille piani, Capitalismo e schizofrenia, vol I. Treccani, RomeGoogle Scholar
  13. Di Giacomo M (2003) Introduzione a Klee. Laterza, RomeGoogle Scholar
  14. Diodato R (2005) L’estetica del virtuale. Bruno Mondadori, MilanGoogle Scholar
  15. Eliade M (1965) Le sacré et le profane. Gallimard, Paris. Italian translation: (1973) Il sacro e il profano. Boringhieri, MilanGoogle Scholar
  16. Ferlenga A (2002) Invisibili profondità. In: La visione dell’invisibile. Saggi e materiali su Le città invisibili di Italo Calvino. Mondadori, Milan, pp. 140–148Google Scholar
  17. Feyerabend P (1999) Conquest of abundance. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago/London. Italian translation: (2002) Conquista dell’abbondanza. Storie dello scontro fra astrazione e ricchezza dell’essere. Raffaello Cortina Editore, MilanGoogle Scholar
  18. Klee P (1956) Das bildnerische Denken: Schriften zur Form und Gestaltungs-lehre (Teil 1). Spiller J (ed). Benno Schwabe, Basle. Italian translation: (1959) Teoria della forma e della figurazione. Feltrinelli, MilanGoogle Scholar
  19. Merleau Ponty M (1964a) L’Oeil et l’Esprit. Gallimard, Paris. Italian translation: (1989) L’occhio e lo spirito. Abcondita, MilanGoogle Scholar
  20. Merleau Ponty M (1964b) Le visibile et l’invisible. Gallimard, Paris. Italian translation: (1994) Il visibile e l’invisibile. Bompiani, MilanGoogle Scholar
  21. Nancy JL (2002) À l’écoute. Éditions Galilée, Paris. Italian translation: (2004) All’ascolto. Raffaello Cortina, MilanGoogle Scholar
  22. Pasquinelli C (1995) Mettere in ordine la casa. Note per una ontologia domestica. Parole chiave. Ordine, n. 7–8. Donzelli, RomeGoogle Scholar
  23. Pizziolo G, Micarelli R (2003) Il pensiero progettante. Dai margini del caos. L’ecologia del progettare, vol II. Alinea, FlorenceGoogle Scholar
  24. Rykwert J (1976) The idea of a town. University Press, Princeton. Italian translation: (1981) L’idea di città. Antropologia della forma urbana nel mondo antico. Einaudi, TurinGoogle Scholar
  25. Secchi B (2000) Prima lezione di urbanistica. Laterza, Rome/BariGoogle Scholar
  26. Villani T (2006) Il tempo della trasformazione. Corpi territori e tecnologie. poster, RomeGoogle Scholar
  27. Zambrano M (1977) Claros del bosque. Ed. Seix Barral, Barcelona 1993. Italian translation: (2004) Chiari del bosco. Bruno Mondadori, MilanGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architecture, Design and PlanningUniversity of SassariAlgheroItaly

Personalised recommendations