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Back to the Future of Public Space: Postcards from 2020


At the end of 2020 Rhizoma Design and Research Lab launched a Call for Postcards to explore the effect of the pandemic on public space, inviting designers, artists, and activists to reflect upon the paradigm shift happening in cities, observing the changing everyday praxis of inhabiting public space as well as envisioning its future, to capture their insights in a Postcard. The format is a provocation per se, as it encapsulates the idea of travelling -  action forbidden by the pandemic.

The call led to a virtual and physical exhibition titled, Back to the Future of Public Space: Postcards from 2020, a collective narrative encapsulating thoughts, fears, and hopes on the role of public space in our lives.  

The exhibition is a travelling entity that adapts and is shaped by the place and the people that host it. Since April 2021, it has been hosted in different places, creating a network of spaces across the globe temporarily transformed by the exhibition and involving the community in the transformation.

Community participation was achieved through the model of a Do It Yourself exhibition that provided people with a manual offering simple instructions and suggesting a creative interaction with the exhibition. 

The participation of the community in the setting of the exhibition generated a new connection between the hosting space and the users, temporarily making the hosting space a framework and place to trigger reflections and discussions.

Among other spaces, the exhibition was set up at the Rhizome LLC Space, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Virginia Tech (US) in September 2021. Students and faculty collaborated in making the exhibition, shaping together the temporary setting of the space. 

This travelling exhibition is an example of how art and creative actions can create a bond between a space and the people that inhabit it.



Winner of the third award of the A-Place Mapping contest "Share your artwork" 2021

Link to an external source of the artwork: https://www.rhizomalab.com/research/backtothefutureofpublicspace

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