Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design

Decommodified Erzsébet Square

Forum Hungaricum?
Project overview
Student name
Levente Máté Borenich
Degree level
Year of project
The "monks of public life" move into Erzsébet tér on a rotating basis.
The commitment of the community operating in a formalised way is to decommodify, maintain and activate the city's main square. The aim of the masterwork is to add visual content to the image of the "secular monastery". The spatial composition, organised around the former bus station, is a chain of juxtaposed archetypal spatial units that can serve as a background for urban rituals.
In my Masters thesis I investigate the transformation of Erzsébet Square - the infrastructural centre of Budapest. I examine the change in the conception of space in parallel with modernisation and the transformation of the city. I wish to highlight how the social, political and economic environments prevented the square from becoming a politically active democratized public space. I present a critical review of the cultural institutions and the architectural models connected to the square, to draw conclusions in connection with current discussions on the commons of the city. With my dissertation I aim to legitimize the expropriation of the public squares by local communities – in order to decommodify, democratise and activate the public realm. In addition, I also urge architects to imagine spaces for these initiatives. By regaining the autonomy of form, it might be possible to stage an alternative to the hypercapitalist conception of space - urban enclavism.
Member of the European
Network of
Higher Education Institutions
9 Zugligeti St,
Budapest, 1121