New York City

2011 to present

#whOWNSpace was founded in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York when activists occupied Zuccotti Park, a privately owned public space (POPS). A grassroots collective initiated by DSGN AGNC, along with Change Administration (formerly DoTank), Not An Alternative, and others, group members teach, research, and broadcast issues surrounding the democratic use of public space. #whOWNSpace has conducted public workshops to map these sites, and when they find illegal restrictions to access, the group pressures building owners to remove them. “Understanding what privatization is doing to our cities and open spaces is ultimately about understanding the role of space in a society,” explains Riano. #whOWNSpace’s teach-ins, tweets, and design proposals encourage community activist
use of space in the city.

Accessibility, Community, Information
Problem - undemocratic use of open space
Solution - reveal conflicting uses and rules governing commercialized public space to enable action