In conversations with our friends, this question always comes up: why we called ourselves 'hive' public space. When we were coming up with the concept, we were always thinking about a dynamic, transformative 'being', that matched up to the nature of a city as an organic form that is alive, that grows, changes, and evolves with and over time. We were searching for a word that could be visualized, that had flexibility, and had the power to grow with structure, but without confinement or limitation. Because a hive is composed of individual units, but the whole is made up of inter-linked dependencies, like the systems of a city. Because a hive is a productive form, whose productivity is the result of individuals that come together to create exchanges that are limitless, and collaborations that are ever so fruitful. That is the strength of the hive.
Image Credit: "Queen Cup Honeycomb Honey Bee" by PollyDot. Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/queen-cup-honeycomb-honey-bee-337695/
We see public space in the city as a platform for exchange, dialogue, and transformation, a ground in constant motion; a host for changing dynamics and responses to temporal conditions of the time, whether they are social, climatic, economic, or political. Public space should be the glue that ties all these conditions together, and the habitat in which citizens come to terms with the conditions of their city. The challenge to reconcile different conditions and different responses, with people to create a place of engagement, pride, and belonging, free from a sense of 'other' is what we hope to achieve. The city is a hive in motion that is captured in public space - that, to us, is urban design.
Pinknic Festival on July 9th, 2016 at Governors Island, NYC.
Image Source: Author's photograph