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Climate Council - The Public Sphere Knot

The proposal designs a council as a new public sphere across the current UNHQ to replace the north lawn that lost its role. It reverses the current UNHQ design by letting the public occupy the new climate council and inviting UN staff to the council meeting. In this way, the United Nations would develop climate policies that reflect public opinion more actively. The design aims to re-invent the public sphere reminiscent of a French Salon, where the public can exchange their ideas with UN officials.

Programs like a gallery and library will draw the public to a series of exterior in-between spaces that have occupiable staircases. Just as with the opposing seating of the British Parliament, the direction of staircases will lead the public to face UN staff, encouraging public engagement. While UN staff can hear public opinion, they can also present lectures to the public in either interior or exterior spaces.

The translucent material allows the public to see inside the chamber, and people in the chamber can see the public’s presence outside. These visual connections will encourage the public to have more interest in the UN, while making UN staff realize the importance of public opinion in their decision-making.