Democracy’s essence is the people's self-government and autonomy based on their own rights, and its characteristics are demonstrated through equality and participation. If democracy means a more equitable way of public life in architecture, then, this way of life is dependent on the homogenization of the building's spatial structure, with open, transparent, and functionally diverse public spaces. It is also possible to argue that the birth, maintenance, and demise of democracy all occurred in public space.
The democratic regime of Athens began in the sixth century B.C. The square became a meeting place, a symbol of architecture's democratic politics. Although people's access to assembly has become more widespread and convenient as technology has advanced, the existence of public space in the city remains critical, representing the spatial demands of citizens' public rights beyond the basic conditions of survival and serving an important spiritual function of expressing democracy. So, how architecture be democratic? How can we realize the public nature of architecture?
Between rising water levels and global migration to cities, architects and designers need to critically reimagine the relationship between coastal landscapes and public space. Cities are facing entirely new risks and environmental conditions. Resiliency, infrastructure, and ecology are increasingly common terms, reflecting the growing demand to address the spatial and formal challenges faced by cities worldwide. Rethinking boundaries and edges, designers have unique opportunities to help shape public understanding of these conditions through waterfront parks.
Going beyond human scale is not a novelty. For centuries, builders, engineers, and architects have been creating monumental edifices to mark spirituality or political power. Larger than life palaces, governmental buildings, or temples have always attracted people’s admiration and reverence, nourishing the still not fully comprehensible obsession with large scale builds.
Nowadays, some of the largest and most impressive structures relate less to religious or governmental functions and seem to be turning towards more cultural programs. Most importantly though, today’s grandiose works are generally and openly imitative of Nature.