Cure(eos)city: exploring the potential of public space through seasonal effective design - Renée Miles Rooijmans

1 Dec 2017 - 28 Feb 2018

Cure(eos)city is an international project that was launched in Vancouver this fall. It aims to emphasize the opportunities public space has to offer in terms of social connection, wellbeing and resiliency. It approaches the city as an ecosystem of its own kind. If you are able to see it, urban public spaces have the potential to become places where we can ‘hunt and gather’ again, for example through urban foraging. It is also our common playground and a place for storytelling and shared experiences. Cure(eos)city explores this way of looking at urban life guided by the changes of the seasons, which bring in elements of change, movement and time. During her residency at ZK/U Renée will focus her fieldwork on the exploration the seasonal urban life in Berlin and map the potential of several public spaces through seasonal effective design.  

Renée Miles Rooijmans ( Netherlands )

Renée has been curious about her natural and social environment ever since she was born in Amsterdam in 1988. Combining her background in visual anthropology and her more recent experience in urban farming and tactical urbanism, she is constantly on fieldwork in the cities she inhabits. As co-founder of the urban catalyst group frida&frank she is active in creating moments and experiences that invite people to interact with their environment and each other in new ways. Through her fieldwork in public spaces in Vancouver this summer, mostly through frida&franks’ pop-up ping pong project and a plaza stewardship pilot, she experienced a need for a more seasonal approach in the programming and use of public spaces. Cities thrive in summer and yet seem incapable of fighting social isolation in the winter. Parallel to projects in Vancouver her research this winter will focus on models of seasonal effective design that can help combat things as seasonal affective disorder and improve season-specific underutilized spaces. An important aspect of this approach is to visualize possibilities for citizens and create transparency around governance and care of public space. Renée explores the use of visual art as a means to trigger imagination and conversation around the potential use of public space and citizens’ agency to be directly involved in the design of public space. In her work she aims to bridge the gap between the inhabitants of cities and urban planners by creating interventions that facilitate a common ground for both parties to work together on a healthier and happier living environment.

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Renée Miles Rooijmans