4.1 Introduction

A child and adult playing on a giant chess board on Nicollet Mall.
Figure 40. Chess on Nicollet Mall. Author.

“ “Moving swiftly between different arenas like politics, architecture or commercial design is what I would consider definitive of my generation. I am looking at reality and playing fast and loose with it.”

Sarah Morris [1]

Design is at the center of everything – it brings together the purpose and vision; the stakeholders and engagement process; the project leadership, electeds, staff, and users; time and money; and brand, communications, public relations, the media, and events. Everyone cares about design, everyone has an opinion of what “good design” means, and we all use the language of design when talking about how to create places – but these design conversations take place in a political arena. The purpose of this chapter is to explore this arena and consider how politics – of all types – play out and influence the implementation of projects for the public.

  1. “Sarah Morris,” Interview by Philippe Parreno, Interview Magazine, 9 March 2017, https://www.interviewmagazine.com/art/sarah-morris, accessed August 12, 2019.


Producing the Urban Public Realm: Field Notes on Project Implementation Copyright © by Peter Hendee Brown. All Rights Reserved.

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