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Luca Picardi: Public Private Places

Work / Publication

London developers’ bullshit and how the city’s public spaces are becoming private

Like the rest of us who live in the capital, between selling off limbs to afford rent, slagging off anything pop-up and then flocking to them when the booze is free and talking endlessly about house prices, designer Luca Picardi is obsessed with London space. In short, he’s obsessed with how little there is, how developers talk utter twaddle when they buy it, and how space that once belonged to everyone now belongs to very few. His Private Public Places project takes the form of a publication of photographs that aim to present the rapid privatisation of publicly accessible space in London.

Luca explains: “Forthcoming large-scale development in the capital almost all straddles the definitions of public and private. From the Garden Bridge crossing the Thames, a privately administered tourist attraction likely to require advance booking to a vast 195 hectare swathe of privately owned high-security development flanking the river in the west in Nine Elms, the cityscape is truly undergoing a metamorphosis on a bewildering scale.”

As well as his wealth of photographs, Luca has created a Tumblr where images from Google Streetview have been overlaid by the excruciating developer double-speak used to sell new living spaces. The aim, says Luca, is “to explore the connections between my interpretation [of the spaces] and the representation of them [in developer marketing].” Presented like this, it becomes startlingly Orwellian. “We drive preference by designing and managing spaces that promote wellbeing and productivity.” Terrifying stuff.

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Luca Picardi: Public Private Places

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Luca Picardi: Public Private Places

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Luca Picardi: Public Private Places

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Luca Picardi: Public Private Places

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Luca Picardi: Public Private Places

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Luca Picardi: Public Private Places

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Luca Picardi: Public Private Places