Now more than ever, there is a palpable need for public venues for the focused exchange of ideas. This need warrants the construction of a “Podium Playground”. Activist individuals and groups occupy individual podiums to inform and interact with the public based on a specific political issue of interest. The field arrangement of the podiums sets up an egalitarian layout in which no single issue or opinion occupies more than its dedicated plot, the purpose of which is to promote a calm, civil exchange of ideas and the awareness of each issue as a part within a greater whole. Each with their own unique formal language and assembly, the podiums form a spatial collective. As a physical counter to the mudslinging of anonymous digital space, “Podium Playground” provides a constructed environment for the return of political discourse to the shared public space of the real world where people can both speak and listen to one another, and enjoy the exchange.
Created by the ARC 681 Media class at Syracuse University School of Architecture, led by Assistant Professor Lindsay Harkema.
Special thanks to our teaching assistant, Lina Wang, and guest lecturer, Richie Gelles.