During the last few years the crisis of capitalist development has redefined our understanding of cities in terms of international policy making, political constituencies and individual and collective political expression in the urban realm. Inter 8 has experimented with new scenarios for political readjustment at a global scale, departing from its most basic manifestation in the city. Students have constructed innovative political arguments by experimenting with relationships between everyday material activities – waiting for a bus, dancing, chatting in the street, wheeling and dealing in the city square – and a particular material organisation.
In these common everyday practices, students have found the materials with which to reconstruct the political experience in the city. Exercised in public and constituting a physical expression, these practices acquire political value – Hannah Arendt described the political as action in public – and define new models for the interaction between the individual and the collective in the public arena.
The year began with small workshops in which students became conscious of the political implications of certain architectural elements routinely used in the school. In particular, the door of the Student Forum and the wall of the Director´s office were redesigned according to new political arguments. Following these first experiments, students jumped to the urban scale and focused on a design for a very specific public space: the Plaza de la Revolución in Havana, Cuba. Alien to the global market but highly politically charged, the Plaza became a laboratory in which students could speculate about different futures for political expression within the city.