The general use of a public space greatly differs from a private space. Public spaces have traditionally had three important functions in relation to the life of the cities.The public spaces functioned as meeting place, market place and connection /traffic space. People were talking, exchanging merchandise or moving about. Within a private space Public space consists of shared, open areas such as streets or parks, shops or restaurants and libraries etc… In contrast a private space is a space in which a person feels that it is “their” space, they feel the need to protect it from the outside. Individuals may use signs and gates to try and protect what they feel is their private space. The corporates are however, not satisfied with simply charging people for access and delivering leaflets or flyers which are clearly unwanted. They aim to capture attention through our daily life and senses. Public spaces are therefore ideal for this purpose.
Every visible space can potentially be an advertising canvas. These spaces are most often found in urban structures and areas, but the use of landscapes are also becoming more and more common in this case. Cities are becoming increasingly saturated by posters, billboards and screen advertisements. Many urban landmarks are now “trademarks” in a sense. Picadilly circus for example; is now covered in wide screen advertisements and posters, especially around the junction area.The florescent glow of the screens never cease to continue. Some consider the constant change in adverts and colours a pleasant sight while others view them with unease. “Outdoor advertising has become unavoidable. Traditional billboards and transit shelters have cleared the way for more pervasive methods such as wrapped vehicles, sides of buildings, electronic signs, kiosks, taxis, posters, sides of buses, and more. Digital technologies are used on buildings to sport ‘urban wall displays’. In urban areas commercial content is placed in our sight and into our consciousness every moment we are in public space. The German Newspaper ‘Zeit’ called it a new kind of ‘dictatorship that one cannot escape’. Die Ziet (2008).
Aside from advertising in public spaces visually, companies such as Starbucks take their tactics to our other sense. Starbucks combines the use of visuals with our sensory of smell in order to invade these public spaces and penetrate our lives. Advertisements and posters are not often seen but the scent or smell of their products are strongly present. Andreas Keller states that “evolutionarily, the emotions elicited by smells are disgust and fear – and whatever the opposites of these emotions are – and social or sexual emotions. Associated with these behaviours are very basic value judgements – ‘safe to touch’, ‘good to eat’, ‘safe to be around’, ‘good to have sex with’. Companies such as Lush and Bodyshop use the same strategy in order to attract our attention. Although it is not visible the invasion of public space is present and surrounding us.
In addition to smells, sounds are also commonly used to advertise products and attract our attention. The constant tune that repeat in shops such as disney aim to stimulate our senses to enter. Though again not visible, these tunes and sounds constantly pollute our public spaces. As consumers we now struggle to find a public space in which we are free from these strategies and problems. In recognition of this phnomenin, sevreal campaigns have been launched over the past decade in protest of the “pollution” of public spaces. Campaigners believe that advertisements are saturating public spaces in which many would expect and like to be free from annoyance caused by or influenced by advertisements. Citizens are becoming “fed up with “the impossibility of finding places to eat, drink, or shop without being assaulted by unwelcome, inescapable and unasked-for music”, Nigel Rodgers (2014)
- A public space is a social space that is generally open and accessible to people. Roads, public squares, parks and beaches are typically considered public space. Government buildings which are open to the public, such as public libraries are public space. Although not considered public space, privately owned buildings or property visible from sidewalks and public thoroughfares may affect the public visual landscape, for example, by outdoor advertising.
- Private space is the region surrounding a person which they regard as psychologically theirs. Most people value their personal space and feel discomfort, anger, or anxiety when their personal space is encroached.Permitting a person to enter personal space and entering somebody else’s personal space are indicators of perception of the relationship between the people. There is an intimate zone reserved for lovers, children and close family members. There is another zone used for conversations with friends, to chat with associates, and in group discussions; a further zone is reserved for strangers, newly formed groups, and new acquaintances; and a fourth zone is used for speeches, lectures, and theatre; essentially, public distance is that range reserved for larger audiences.
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(No Date) Available at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/london-2062/documents/BSP_DESIGN_GUIDE.indd.pdf (Accessed: 13 March 2016).
Minton, A. (no date) The privatisation of public space. Available at: http://www.annaminton.com/privatepublicspace.pdf (Accessed: 9 March 2016).