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UC²: University Community Conversation

Social Media or Social Spaces? Political Perspectives and the Future of Urban Public Space

Social Media or Social Spaces? Political Perspectives and the Future of Public Space

People standing outside

Thursday, September 20, 2012

With Matthew Kubik, associate professor of interior design, IPFW, and Pat Ashton, associate professor of sociology and director of Peace and Conflict Studies program, IPFW.

A girl sitting in a public space, working on her laptop.In the age of the Internet is the town square dead? What is the future of public urban spaces in an age characterized by issues of population growth, resource depletion, and social crisis? The history of the urban built environment has been characterized by centralized public urban space. The form of the city has evolved over time, influenced by social and political ideas as expressed in the works of the Remnant Trust currently on display in IPFW’s Helmke Library. In this presentation, the political and social traditions expressed in some of the Remnant Trust books and the relevance of existing urban design patterns in the electronic age of the 21st century were examined.


About the Presenters

Kubik is an award-winning architect, artist, educator and author whose portfolio includes works in the United States, Europe, and North Africa. Since the 1970s he has been a proponent of sustainable design. He was designer and curator of the 2009 Remnant Trust exhibit at IPFW.

Ashton is an award-winning educator, sociologist, and author. He is an expert in community and urban sociology, and conflict resolution. He was the lead docent of the 2009 Remnant Trust exhibit at IPFW.

Ashton and Kubik have conducted sustainability workshops and presentations at numerous international conferences. They are co-authors of the book The Green Age: Transforming Your Life Choices for The 21st Century. They have collaborated on innovative team teaching efforts including a National Collegiate Honors live teleconference broadcast to over 80 college campuses.