The Emergent Public Domain

Let’s go for a walk,” was Steve Jobs’s famous way of calling a meeting. Every time he needed to have a serious conversation with someone, he would encourage an active discussion on foot. It is well known that walking empowers creative thinking and being side-by-side makes a conversation more peer-to-peer by breaking down barriers. So where do all these walking meetings happen? Unless one works on a campus, these gatherings are more than likely in a public space.

Whether it’s the streets, parks, trails, squares or unconventional locations like cemeteries, abandoned railway stations or indoor arenas, access to these spaces is a crucial expression of urbanism. As a backdrop to walking, running, skating or even riding a bike, these spaces offer us dynamic visuals to get lost in and navigate through.

How do products assist us in experiencing these public spaces? Necessary equipment like cycles, skateboards, running shoes, watches and so on help us as we physically move from point to point. For more nuanced fulfillment of unmet needs, emerging trends in technology, social media and crowdfunding have pushed boundaries. Passionate designers with little or no business experience can easily organise support through numerous platforms like Indiegogo and Patreon, disrupting entire markets.