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Political interference refers to the combination of two or more, either complementary or opposing, political systems that produces a new resultant political order. If there is interference by the public to a government, this negates the possibility of a totalitarian regime to exist. The government is forced to constantly update itself depending on the demands of the population, and the politics is constantly questioned and is not allowed to remain static. For every action or stance taken by the public towards the political system, a reciprocal action occurs which triggers a new set of events, and the whole culture is forced to constantly renew itself. Interference enables greater equality within a society as it allows for any group to object to the actions of another, and breaks up hierarchies. It allows for a more stable political system as everyone feels that they have the chance of changing through their actions if they are displeased. The interference of the formal with the informal means that it is not only a top-down regime but also the everyday lives of people that determine their politics. Participation in the informal is open to everyone, as informal activities, whether they are political, economical or cultural, are always inclusive and heterogeneous. Informal activities exist in the gaps of the formal - they cater to certain demands or desires that the formal system is not able to reach. Participation in the informal allows people to realize the formal system that is surrounding them, to “see between the gaps�.


Conditions of Street Markets


Private buildings

Permeability and Porosity

Combination of all factors

Researching street farmers’ markets as a method of understanding the politics of the city as composed by the everyday informal activity of the people. Observing the spatial qualities of the site as physical conditions that allow for this market to take place. An economical and political discourse is set up by the interference of an informal event with the formal settings.


Conditions of the Plaza de la Revolucion Ministerio de Comunicaciones (Ministry of Communications)

Teatro Nacional (National Theatre) Ministerio del Interior (Ministry of Interior)

Biblioteca Nacional (National Library) Jose Marti Statue

Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias (Revolutionary Armed Forces) Palacio de la Revolucion (Communist Party Building)

Surrounding buildings


Private buildings

Vehicle vs. pedestrian access

barrier inhabitable / permeable barrier accessible open space

permeable space inaccessible space existing buildings

Researching similar spatial conditions in the Plaza de la Revolucion and exploring the idea of imposing the urban fabric and spatial conditions of the site where the market is located with the existing grid and conditions of the plaza. The aim is to bring in the informal activity that exists in other parts of the city into the plaza, currently a very static and formal place, by having one set of spatial qualities interfere with another. The idea is for a framework to exist in the plaza that replicates some of these conditions and serves as a framework for informal activity to emerge. Architecture for the informal needs itself to be formless. Model exploring how such a formless infrastructure could place itself within the plaza.


Conditions of Informal Activity

touristic local


not renovated

sites of informal activity most tourist concentration

least tourist concentration

sites and types of informal activity

selling goods/services from doorway to locals

selling extra rationed items in front of markets, to locals street vendor selling food to locals and tourists standing in front of hotels to

selling newspaper/snacks in markets to tourists

Examples of informal activity present in Havana. Observations made about the different scales and spaces that these informal activities occupy - and how they always exist right next to their formal counterpart. For example, the man selling rationed items on the black market, right outside the local government owned market. The differences in the city depending on who frequents those places - locals or tourists. How the tourist population concentration varies in Havana, and which buildings in the plaza are frequented more by tourists, and which are frequented more by locals. The framework for the informal in the plaza will also aim at bringing together the locals of Havana with the tourists and eliminate the parallel but seperate worlds that exist for them currently.


Housing Re-Appropriation

Re-appropriation of housing by families moving in after the revolution as a spatial example of informal activity interfering with the formal. The scale of the existing building is divided into smaller compartments depending on the needs of the inhabitants. Building changes in section and plan.


Site Analysis & Proposal

baseball field

The most informal structure is a tent. The proposal is for some sort of a tent-like structure (or several) to exist in the space between the national theatre and the ministry building (site is chosen specifically as a meeting point in the plaza of the tourists coming from Havana Vieja and the locals coming from Vedado, both to the respective buildings of interest) that will act as framework for the re-appropriation of the space for informal events. The idea is for the structure to be as light as possible, and the activity is formed by the people attracted under it. The design does not have to be for a formal structure but rather for an infrastructure that people can build their own spaces in or on to (inspired by the reappropriation of housing). Similar to a caravan site where the services exist for people to plug their mobile homes into.