Giving People Agency in Public Space: The Artwork of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Giving People Agency in Public Space: The Artwork of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

In the past, cities were often constructed in the likeness the public--the built environment reflected citizens and local culture. It is questionable whether this can be said of the modern world. Much construction today is a product of capitalism, generating buildings and areas in which local people have no attachment or sense of agency over. Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer believes this to be a fundamental crisis within our cities, and he is committed to reestablishing the relationship and representation of people within urban space. His work is examined in a new short film by PLANE-SITE, titled Public Interruptions.

A building today does not represent a citizen, a building today represents capital.

Lozano-Hemmer is globally recognized for his work in "relational architecture." He has spent over two decades working to disrupt the modern narratives of globalization and return agency within their cities to the people. The public’s thoughts and actions become the mechanism behind Hemmer’s work which he then translates into forms of art, visible on a public scale. The purpose is to amplify the role of the citizen and create a feeling of individual representation within an urban space.

The public space is something that is created on the moment of interaction.

Public Interruptions explores Lozano-Hemmer’s deep engagement with public space and ambition to offer agency to urban cities. Through an interview with the artist and a look at several of his larger-scale interventions, the short film illustrates the profound impact and significance Lozano-Hemmer contributes to the urban environment.

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Cite: Alya Abourezk. "Giving People Agency in Public Space: The Artwork of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer" 02 Nov 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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