3.0 | Brainstorming: Sites of Intervention

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Purpose: In this studio, we will be investigating “imperfections” in your environment as sites for design to inspire new understandings of a place.

The nuances and imperfections of a place are often what make it so delightful and engaging. A strangely-shaped crack in the sidewalk, an off-beat image on a sign, an ambiguous street sign, a crooked chain-link fence, a bench with a missing arm rest – each provides a new lens into understanding the places we inhabit.

Imperfections are also opportunities for designers to critique the environment: to exaggerate, distort, exploit, manipulate, or alter an existing condition into something new and playful. Through the slightest material change in the environment, design can modify the narrative of a place.

Part I (in pairs)

  1. Identify three possible sites for your intervention (this could be a ground surface, wall, bench, fence, sign, etc)
  2. Document each site with photos, sketches, notes, audio, film, etc
  3. At each site, write down at least 2 characteristics about what makes this site “imperfect,” and two ideas about how your team could change its meaning.

Part II

Working with the coaches, design a non-destructive intervention to exploit one of your interventions.

Create 3 detailed sketches of different ideas for your project. Each idea should address the following:

  1. How will your object move/be dynamic (spin, swing, rotate, etc)?
  2. How will your object create play and interaction on the sidewalk?