Renzo Piano's conception of space

The Guardian recently featured a nice article about italian architect Renzo Piano. I was not so interested by his take on french's so-called riot (even though his take about it is relevant: "The peripheries are the cities that will be. Or not. Or will never be"), rather his thoughts about space and emptiness are clever:

Piano wants to introduce the European idea of urban planning to the British capital, ideas which he characterises as understanding the difference between a piazza (good) and a plaza (less good).

"A piazza is not a plaza," fumes Piano. "The plaza is the theme park of the piazza; the plaza is the commercial version. A piazza is an empty space with no function. This is what Europeans understand." A space without function allows one to be "in the moment", he says, and to counter what he sees as a major flaw in modern life - the habit of interpreting all experience in the light of achievement, as a means to an end. We should, he thinks, learn to lighten up, and the creation of empty, purposeless spaces within cities might encourage that. "You don't have to struggle to give function to every single corner. You can just wait and see and enjoy."

Finally, one of the last quote in the article is a good food for thought that reflects all his thinking: ""Architecture in some way has the duty to suggest behaviour".

Why do I blog this? I find pertinent to have insights from architect's vision of space, how they think about it and how they envision spatial features as well as their connections with behavior. As a 'user experience' researcher, I am interested in how spatial features frame people's behavior.