In post-Katrina New Orleans the artistCandy Chang used the power of public art to provide hope for overcoming emotional trauma: she painted a wall of an abandoned building and stenciled the sentence, “Before I die I want to _____.” Within a day the wall was covered with colorful messages of people. Since then, more than four hundred Before I Die walls have been created in over 60 countries and over 25 languages. The book collects the images, the tears, the stories, the secret thoughts, the smiles, the fears and the dreams behind the public walls.
Actions: What You Can Do With the City is an incredible source of inspirations to flip through the pages for anyone interested in the relationship between urban pattern and citizens. Published in 2008 the book accompanied the exhibition Actions at the Canadian Center for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal (Canada) and examines themes like food, recycling and playing.
Microplanning by Marcos L. Rosa is a compilation of common spaces organized and designed by non-architects in the city of São Paulo (Brazil) in some of the most needy neighborhoods. The book illustrate the citizen’s ability to change and improve their environments with little resources, transforming themselves problems and urban challenges into opportunities for collective life at the local scale.
Going Public is the brand-new catalogue by gestalten dedicated to the concept of public space playing a key role for the livability of contemporary cities. The book presents a collection of well-known urban and architectural projects, as well as informal interventions, developed to fulfil the local and specific needs of gathering.
It’s all about creativity and innovative entrepreneurship, pop ups, collaboration and the sometimes seemingly crazy. Doing it Differently looks at a range of creative and innovative solutions to the challenges of urban living. Creativity in all its forms is essential to the healthy evolution of urban environments, particularly when undergoing such rapid change.
Kylie Legge is a founding Director of Place Partners, a multidisciplinary place making consultancy based in Sydney Australia.
Strategy and Tactics in Public Space by a + t is a new interesting catalogue, that collects projects conceived for vacant lots, urban voids and forgotten piazza. Whether the projects are bottom-up approaches or initiatives led by enlightened decision makers, the book shows how urban design and architecture can actually be the tools to build community hubs, tailored to serve flexible uses and functions.
The book includes projects by Basurama, Cascoland and Topotek, featured in Public Design Festival previous editions.
From 2006 to 2009 Platform 21 worked as an incubator for a new concept of design museum in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). Applying the principle of learning by doing, Platform 21 presented alternative exhibition formats and promoted a more democratic approach in showcasing design. Curatorial Cooking tells the story of this experience in an open D.I.Y. way, with famous projects like the Repair manifesto, Platform21 = Hacking IKEA, encouraging people to steal these ideas.
The Spontaneous City is an inspiring book by Urhahn Urban Design, claiming the spontaneous and slow development, as an alternative way of thinking the urban strategy in opposition to the traditional large-scale city planning. It argues for a new approach of urban designers and planners, based on the importance of small initiatives with the involvement of local actors and on the principles of fleaxibility to adapt to changes and openness. The book presents a collection of references, from Amsterdam to Rio de Janeiro.
The Right to The City was an exhibition at Tin Sheds Gallery in Sidney (Australia), held in April 2011, whose goal was to present artistic, theoretical and philosophical ideas of reinventing a more socially connected life in our cities.
The book tells this research, collecting the works of artists, activists, planners and architects that are redefining city living by engaging with issues around urban spaces, such as property ownership, sustainability and gentrification.
The Architecture Foundation has just published a book!
Union Street Urban Orchard is a disused site transformed into an urban orchard and community garden during the London Festival of Architecture. The book documents the process by which it was conceived, constructed and used, presenting it as a case study to inspire others to think creatively about how empty spaces in the city can be used.
Public spaces belong to all of us, teenagers included. That’s why they should learn to create and protect them. Watch This Space: Designing, Defending and Sharing Public Spaces by Hadley Dyer encourages young readers to be part of their communities and become involved in both the design and use of public spaces.
This is Service Design Thinking edited by Marc Stickdorn and Jakob Schneider is a toolbox of methods belonging to this discipline, offering also interesting case studies and short articles by various contributors. It can be used by anyone looking for a creative approach to problems: the book is a motivation to start doing things.
My Green City is an interesting catalogue of inspiring ideas for a sustainable and more responsible way of conceiving the urban environment and bringing nature back to our cities: from urban farming initiatives, guerilla gardening, and architectural visions, to furniture, products, and other everyday objects that use plants in a functional or aesthetic way.
And turning over the pages, there are two Public Design Festival’s designers of the previous editions: Arabeschi di Latte and Marieke van der Bruggen with her Public Pie.
a+t has just opened up a new line of editorial research. Strategy Public, the last double issue of the magazine, inaugurates the strategy series. More than 20 works of urban landscaping and public design, all built, are analysed regarding the strategies identified in each one.