Shun Nien Miao

Master of Architecture with an Emphasis in Interior Architecture

Tactical Urbanism for Protesting:
Nothing right in the world ever occurs without a fight

Protest is the most direct expression of public opinion. The main purpose of the protest is to unite the people in their dissatisfaction with current situations of government and control and to give voice and space to its presentation. This thesis studies the non-violent protest, focusing on protestors using bodies to occupy public space. Society tends to think of public spaces as open, welcoming and transparent. But instead, anthropology has shown that public space corresponds to the hierarchical classification of societies who obey social norms without noticing. Whose public space is it? A genuine public space is an area where people can support the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction.

This Thesis pictures genuine public space, based on protestors’ self initiation and building of infrastructure in between private buildings and public areas in Lower Manhattan, New York. Tactical Urbanism for Protesting offers flexible interventions that bridge urban fabrics and create a new urban culture through the responsive architectural innovation of enabled political disruption.

The series is a combination of mapping “public/private” and the odd existence of “privately owned public space”; factual and fictional scenario collage and “text/script” sculpt the process of grassroots building bottom-up of enabling protest in public space, shifting temporary sites of occupation and protest to unshakable permanent public space.