5th Germiest tourist attraction

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The Gum Wall in Seattle is a monument to human behaviour.

The wall is outside a theatre and this all began in 1993 when patrons would stick gum to the wall while waiting for a performance. Theater company workers said began to scrape the gum routinely, but eventually gave up. Slowly the gum amassed.

The Urban Guide for Alternate Use

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Some other very similar investigations going on from Scott Burnham for the Exchange Radical Moments! Festival. Burnham is putting together a manual for urban hacking. It’s very much in tune with what I was talking about in a previous post about giving communities the tools and opportunity to try to re-imagine their surroundings. In this case Burnham’s key word is resourcefulness . From the Exchange Radical Moments Festival catalogue:

Resourcefulness has become one of the most important skills for people to develop today. What resources do you see being treated as waste in your city that could be used to benefit others?

The Urban Guide for Alternate Use is a catalogue of city-specific opportunities for resourcefulness within existing urban environments, compiled simply by asking the city’s residents to devise alternate uses for things already present in the city. It is a guide that acts as a catalyst for a new form of resourcefulness in the city, and as a communicative vehicle for exchange among residents.

For the festival Exchange Radical Moments, a guide will be created for one of the participating cities, filled with the ideas submitted by the city’s residents, as gestures of donation to their fellow citizens. The city guide will be written by the imagination and resourceful thinking of its residents, and can serve as an alternate guide to the city. Together the different submissions will form a powerful collection of insights into how people mentally and physically play with the urban landscape as a conglomeration of readymade objects ripe for intervention.

Took the words right out of my mouth. This alternative urban guide is so close to what this thesis project could become, that I’m definitely going to get on board when call for submissions arrives. In the meantime I aim to set up some workshops of my own.

London Shibuya Crossing

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Photo via The Guardian
Shibuya-crossing
Photo by Ookseer

London has launched their new crossing at Oxford Circusm based on the Shibuya ‘desire path’ model in Tokyo. It’s a brilliant piece of design thats has actual human behaviour at it’s heart, rather than a preconceived idea or persuasive approach. Basically this means that all those times you walked diagonally across a crossing, you can now do it in an environment specifically designed for this.

Click here for slideshow of Shibuya Crossing

Play Back

71% of adults in Britain today used to play on the streets when they were young. Now only 21% of children do so. Are we designing children and play out of the public realm?