In social contexts that favor – or, from a radically different point of view, they suffer – the possibility of encounter between human beings, the conditions are created for their potential relationship and possible interaction. These encounters, which often result in not preordained of the innumerable, unstoppable “human flows” that pass through the territories of the urban context – the city: a privileged scenario of encounter – expose subjects involved to a relationship of reciprocal influence that can take decidedly variable gradients of intensity.
The encounters – or the collisions – between individuals, like a chemical reaction between distinct elements, give rise to infinite results, presenting themselves as opportunities for intersection that open to possible processes of confrontation, exchange and transformation.
The anthropologist Edward T. Hall, founding the discipline of “proxemics”, understood as a subject dedicated to the study of the use that individuals make of social and personal space, defines the types of interpersonal relationship distances in increasing measures – intimate , personal, social and public – and open to the concept of a “proximity” condition, useful for explaining the development of a particular “privileged” category of relationships between individuals.
If the “proximity factor” extends to incorporate the relationship between individuals and places they inhabit, including material presences – characterized as objects – that populate them too, the picture of potential socio-cultural alterations, triggered by moving human flows, takes on a dimension that deserves to be explored.
In such a context, by what actions, processes, devices or artifacts can we imagine encouraging the emergence of positive proximity relationships? Using the tool of design, which mutations in the dynamics of relationship between individuals can we propose, force or facilitate?
Bruno Bonnici, Laura Castronovo, Miriam Cesareo, Giulia Chiusa, Vincenzo Costa, D’Amico Gabriele, Rebecca Bertero, Giuseppe Franceschino, Rosaria Fresta, Alessandra Fumagalli, Nora Jongen, Mikaela Kvan, Laura Pizzo, Simona Spadoni, Dahlia Subasi.