Situated in the interior of Portugal, Guimarães has several fountains in the public space with the quest to reduce the summertime heat. To be implemented during the hottest months, Fountain Hacks intervenes directly on these fountains, enhancing their use by creating a new (water)land of urban opportunities. Conceived as a new temporary water circuit, Fountain Hacks is a ready-made strategy of playful interventions, making the city a better place to live.
The concept is to promote an occupation of the water public spaces by redefining city’s physical limits and deleting the social predefined boundaries. Extending the current notions of public space, the inhabitants are invited to take the maximum revenue of these (waterful) mo(nu)ments. Alike Anita Ekberg's scene at Fontana di Trevi in Federico Fellini’s ‘Dolce Vita’, Guimarães inhabitants experience the city fountains in a real, uninhibited, way. Being aware of the fountains centrality in public spaces, this project seeks to promote these daily actions as a freshly social happening - fountains will become the stage where citizens and tourists are the real-time performers.
Fountain Hacks is a system of fountain-use upgrade design that takes advantage of the dichotomy between traditional and new - adding elements to valorise the pre-existence. (Re)Using standard pool stairs, typical waterslides or domestic showers, Fountain Hacks promotes new places to enjoy and refresh. Asking the participation of passers-by, Fountain Hacks (re)creates the contemporary use of the public space in a continuous dynamic of surprise.
Fast and easy to implement, low-tech urban hacks shows city-users they must be part of the city urban planning, calling for a use of public space where hacking becomes an energetic, optimistic design approach. Bringing joy to the city, this playful strategy is a Masterplan based on the notion that the key to evolve into a pulsating city is to promote the active inhabitancy into the community.
Curatorship: Pedro Gadanho