Is the Digital Age Killing Public Space?
The Getty Center
Date: Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Center, Harold M. Williams Auditorium
The more time we spend in a virtual world, the more we crave human connection. Yet with every technological advance, public space seems to get a little less relevant: the digital encyclopedia marked the beginning of the library's decline, e-mail helped make the post office obsolete, Amazon is undermining the shopping mall, and Facebook and Twitter have taken care of almost everywhere else. Walk down any street in the Western world, and you'll find people lost in their smartphones rather than engaging with one another. Are we destined to forego public spaces? Or will we counteract all that screen time by finding new ways and places to come together? After all, social media is what gave us flash mobs and meet-ups, Occupy Wall Street and Tahrir Square. Stanford University's Robert McGinn, technology forecaster Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, and Mia Lehrer + Associates founding principal Mia Lehrer, discuss whether the Internet is going to replace physical public spaces–or if new technology will change how we design and use parks and plazas, town squares and train stations. Presented in conjunction with The Scandalous Art of James Ensor, the panel is moderated by John King, urban design and architecture critic for the San Francisco Chronicle.
How to Get Here
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