Honoree, Design for Social Impact, Core77 Design Awards 2018
Spring 2018 Research Assistant Grant, Experimental Geography Studio of University of Oklahoma
Rapid prototyping, co-design activities, design research, public interventions, maps, metal/welding, film
Mexico City, Mexico + Los Angeles, CA
Juego es Poder is a design research project that explored a taxonomy of play in urban space in Mexico City inspired by the ways skaters creatively dispute the conventional use of the city. The project looked at play as a physical engagement that creates an orientation to urban space that allows people to reimagine and embody alternate relationships, affordances and opportunities.
The project activated play as a method to:
(1) Physically confront the rules and perceptions around conventional uses of public spaces such as parks, plazas, and sidewalks and explore how improvisational play can reveal the incongruence between the imagined use of public space and the actual praxis of it
(2) Challenge the solution-based approach of government-built play spaces (that may or may not be intended as youth containment strategies) and demonstrate alternative playful opportunities in spaces not specifically designed for play
Working closely with young skaters in Mexico City to reimagine the regulated use of public spaces such as plazas, parks, and streets, the project applied the informal and improvisational approaches of skating that temporarily rendered elements of the built environment into a personal space of exploration.
Skaters do not just play in space; they play with space. Inspired by the way skaters make space pliable through their activities, the project identified new forms of play that activate unexplored layers of social interactions in the city.