Two Architects investigate the Evolution of #OWS

Liberty Plaza © Jonathan Massey and Brett Snyder

Our friends at Design Observer’s Places Journal have shared with us two fascinating articles, written by architects Jonathan Massey and Brett Snyder, that explore the physical and virtual evolution of Occupy Wall Street (#) as it transformed from the privately owned public space of Zuccotti Park into the bustling micro-city of Liberty Plaza sustained by online media.

To learn how OWS has influenced architecture and urbanism, Massey and Snyder asks the following questions: What’s the layout of this place? What are its rules, and who owns it? How does its design shape possibilities for individual and collective action?


© Jonathan Massey and Brett Snyder

Occupying Wall Street: Places and Spaces of Political Action tells the story of OWS, starting with it’s establishment last Fall, and discusses how it combined “street protest, social media and direct democracy to advance a new form of open-source urbanism”. Whereas, Mapping Liberty Plaza investigates the spatial and social organization of Liberty Plaza as it maps the transformation of “a staid corporate plaza into a testing ground for radical ideas about the reorganization of state and society”.

Be sure to check out the articles on Places at Design Observer and add to the authors “provisional conclusions to what might this history mean for the future of public space and political action”.

© Jonathan Massey and Brett Snyder
Cite: Rosenfield, Karissa. "Two Architects investigate the Evolution of #OWS" 19 Sep 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>