These seemingly simple definitions are ample enough for us to immediately see the complexity that the issue of ‘spaces’ bring to us in cities. If someone does not have a separate cubicle, does his/desk in the office become a private space? How is this space accessible to others? How much accessibility should be provided to this space? Who should be allowed access? How does the utilization of this space mark it as public or private? Does the arrangement of spaces in the manner in which cities are planned reflect and enable the spatial and technological revolutions that are transforming us every moment Are our cities and the structures that it house, capable of meeting the increasing requirements of mobility, accessibility and communication that globalization necessitates? These are some of the most important questions that may be asked in relation to the configuration and distribution of spaces today; this paper will specifically look into the area of social spaces in cities to day. I will attempt to engage with ‘social spaces’ by describing and evaluating present architectural trends through the example of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture and some of their important projects.
Swyngedouw and Kaika, in ‘Making of Urban ‘Glocal’ Communities, mention some of the concerns associated with urban planning such as emancipation and disengagement, global and local as well as social justice versus neo-liberalism. While one may assume the forces of modernity as co-terminus with the spaces of the city itself, this article makes a distinction between the two. They argue that cultures of everyday life are undermined by the creation of a city of the spectacular commodity, making it a staged archaeological theme park (Swyngedouw and Kaika 2003 p.11) On the contrary, current trends in modern architecture claim to be facilitating convergence of multi-purpose spaces, a mission that is tailored to cater to the specific utilitarian purposes that are