Urban Action: what can you do with the city?

Up until april this year the Canadian Centre for Architecture hosted the exibition Actions: what can we do with the city?, where seemingly common activities such as walking, playing, recycling, and gardening where pushed beyond their usual definition by architects, artists, and collectives to show the potential influence personal involvement can have in shaping the city, and challenge fellow residents to participate.

The accompanying website presents a toolkit to inspire actions in the city and functions as a databank of the individual actions taken. Check out the list of the 99 submitted actions for the exibition. Although the exibition has officially come to an end already, you can still submit your ideas and actions to the database.

For instance, Amsterdam based Droog Design in collaboration with NEXT Architects submitted the Table Tennis Fence.

© Droog Design. Photograph by Misha de Ridder
© Droog Design. Photograph by Misha de Ridder

The Table Tennis Fence subverts the fence as a dividing element. A built-in ping pong table can be opened for neighbours to play with each other, transforming the fence into a meeting place. Share Fence is a related project with cut-outs in the shape of gardening tools like trowels and a watering can. Neighbours can hang tools to be shared in fence holes where they are accessible from both sides.

Or what about the the Instant Pink Puffs Roll Playground by Berlin based Topotek 1?

© Hans Joosten
© Hans Joosten

Twenty-four inflatable pink rubber objects and fifteen foam cubes were installed in a temporary playground beside a horse pasture in Wolfsburg, Germany, for the 2004 State Garden Show. The pink landscape created by the structures was designed to evoke childrens’ toys and contrast with the natural surroundings. There are no fixed uses for the objects in the Temporary Playground: they are both shelter and surface, capable of being rolled into any space, transforming a sidewalk corner or a vacant lot into a beguiling and playful garden.

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