Visualizing the voices of Fort Greene Park

A public installation that wonders: what if citizens could design their own public spaces?

I worked on this project during my exchange semester (Fall 2019) at the Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, NY.

Read local news coverage in the Brooklyn Eagle of the project here.

A broad question about who should be designing our public spaces (designers, government, companies, citizens??) led to an installation artwork that celebrates the value of community ideas in wake of a controversial redesign for Brooklyn’s treasured Fort Greene Park. Over the course of two months, I learned about Fort Greene Park from Friends of Fort Greene Park and park visitors. 

As an outsider, it was not my place to design for the park. Instead, I wondered: what if the people proposing the controversial redesign had listened to what community members actually wanted? In collaboration with Friends of Fort Greene Park, I decided to use the design process to engage with and listen to a diverse group of Fort Green Park enjoyers. 

Students that like to come to the park after school imagine their perfect day in Fort Greene Park

The resulting illustration visualizes my findings. Each color represents a community perspective. To communicate the project back to the public, I built a 2.5 m wide public installation, that was shown during a public event, on site in the park. Stories, memories, opinions, ideas, and dreams illustrated on a transparent piece of acrylic – show a collective imagination for what “could be” in the park.  

Digital version of the illustration
Cards given to visitors of the exhibition with a description and legend

The project is part of an ongoing conversation about how we could make design more inclusive – and how to increase the public’s stake in design that affects their lives. Friends of Fort Greene Park will continue this conversation in the park, and I hope to continue it in my next projects. 

Ideas/dreams/memories as a transparent layer on the present day park
Up close
Visitors interact with the work during the event
Read the article Download Illustration

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