What is Thrd Space?

We pull our definition of thrd space from urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg:

Oldenburg defines third places as public places on neutral ground where people can gather and interact.  These coffee shops, general stores, public parks, and other "third places" are central to local democracy and community vitality.

In contrast to first places (home) and second places (work), third places allow people to put aside their concerns and simply enjoy the company and conversation around them. Providing the foundation for a functioning democracy, these spaces promote social equity by leveling the status of guests, providing a setting for grassroots politics, creating habits of public association, and offering psychological support to individuals and communities.

We also pull from post-colonial scholar, Homi Bhabha’s definition of third space, an ‘interruptive, interrogative, and enunciative’ space of new forms of cultural meaning and production blurring the limitations of existing boundaries and calling into question established categorizations of culture and identity.

Our definition is ever evolving and we view every project as a step toward building either physical, social, intellectual or digital thrd spaces.


What is Creative Placemaking?

Guiding our methodology is the belief that “the place is already made.” We are sometimes wary of the term “creative placemaking” because it implies that there is making to be done. We believe every location has a unique character, and while creative practice can amplify that character, we do not believe art should create some idealized version of a place. This runs the risk of replacing (or, in worst cases, whitewashing) deep-rooted cultural practices

“ partners from public, private, non-profit, and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city, or region around arts and cultural activities.”

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