This research is about the contradictions involved in the recent creation of public life in in two Centros Educacionais Unificados (CEUs, or Unified Educational Centers) located in São Paulo perypheral areas: CEU Butantã e CEU Vila Rubi. On the one hand, the CEUs offer in a single place many educational, cultural and leisure facilities, housing diverse publics, practices and opportunities, and playing major roles in the consolidation of democracy and citizenship in the city. On the other hand, relations of distrust and stigmatization and space control practices threaten the consolidation of public life in these places. My approach to this matter intends to relate the dimensions of physical and political spaces in the everyday cultural practices in the CEUs, through an ethnographic approach informed by spacial investigations and interventions (plans, images, virtual models, building of a small space intended to foster dialog and interchange), taking advantage of my dual degree in architecture and social sciences.
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