Hildebrandt’s Onlife World: Public Goods, Design and Politics

Charles D. Raab


This article draws attention to some important themes in Hildebrandt’s book and refers to other literature that adds to their practical importance. It highlights the way in which social relationships may be understood in terms of private, social and public spheres. Discussing “inbetween” phenomena as seen analogously in defensible-space physical design, and the concepts of “affordance” and “resilience,” it considers the importance of these concepts to the design of an onlife infrastructure preserving the Rule of Law. It asks whether the scenario of an individual’s situation in the “smart” environment leaves undeveloped the possibility of an onlife politics in the face of novel and threatening developments.

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