Drawing public space is one of the five european projects selected for the Vienna Design Week, Stadtarbeit 2017. The project consisted in a work in progress workshop carried out in the selected location of Schwendermarkt in the center of the Focus District Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus.
The workshop aimed at investigating and triggering new social dynamics by redefining public space through the use of colored adhesive tape laid out to create a precise geometrical design. Each day participants of the workshop worked directly on site in a way to rise curiosity and interaction from the inhabitants of the neighborhood while at the same time having the possibility to better understand the dynamics of the area and its strategic locations.
The physical engagement and continuous presence in the area required by the project resulted in a gain of trust of the community, enabling the work to go beyond its temporal and ephemeral nature and create a bond with the inhabitants of the neighborhood.
The geometrical drawing itself, playful yet strongly rigorous in its execution, was planned in order to offer different scenarios of the area, depending on the work in progress. Subdivided into different steps, each configuration was thought as a different fantastic figure: animalistic creatures slowly populating the square.
The carefully planned aspect of the design helped people feel less intimidated by the demand of creativity and more willing to take part of a process free of responsibilities. Also, daily, all technical drawings were hanged on the walls for participants to follow the construction process as well as for for passer-bys to stop and gain a more clear understanding of the project. During this phase, school classes joined the workshop during their art classes, children stopped by to help on their way back from school and new ways of living and playing in Schwendermark started to emerge.
Drawing public space aim was to work towards the idea of appropriation of public space by its inhabitants. The playful act of creating a pattern operates at different levels: at the small scale it engages play and gathering of people while at a larger scale it creates a recognizable landmark inside the urban fabric. By strongly highlighting an already public space, the project’s intent is to add a layer of play, character and curiosity to a generic space and to hopefully engage the community in various actions of interaction.
Given its temporal limit, the installation was removed through an inverse process, this time, taking away one layer of color at a time.