Turn on the news these days and you are likely to see stories about migration and diversity in cities that often lead to tension rooted in racial and cultural differences. An increasing number of people are migrating for a range of social, economic, political and environmental reasons. It is critical for cities, and those who love and live in them, to find ways to be more welcoming to newcomers, to be more inclusive, and design with diversity in mind. If they don’t, we face spreading intolerance, and potentially, outright xenophobia.
Since 2006, OpenCity Projects has showcased how excellent public spaces and urban design help make our cities more beautiful, diverse, sustainable, and inclusive.
We have often looked to Toronto for inspiration. It’s a city of newcomers, where immigration is embraced and where almost 50% of its population have been born outside Canada. Here we’ve seen that when people mix together and integrate well with each other and their spaces everyone can live and grow together, peacefully.
Perception, a new “calligraffiti” project by artist eL Seed, questions the judgement and misconceptions society can have on a community based on their perceived differences. The anamorphic piece covers almost 50 buildings in Cairo’s Coptic neighbourhood of Zaraeeb – a community responsible for the city’s trash and recycling collection. Despite the immeasurable public service made by the area, the place is perceived as dirty, marginalized and segregated. With the help of locals, the artist and his team developed a project to shed a positive light to the community. Continue reading
Now that spring has sprung and the clocks have been turned forward, we can reminisce about the season that was. The second annual Winter Stations was an imaginative and vibrant exhibition aimed at recharging Toronto’s hibernating east end beaches throughout the long winter months that are now thankfully behind us.
In an era where they only pump your gas in New Jersey, the glory days of the gas station seem extinct – the task and the place, monotonous. But even in Los Angeles, a city of stars, it’s quite a surprise to see this geometric gem. At the corner of Olympic and Robertson lies the most stylish gas station in LA. Continue reading
Manhattan hosts, just east of NYU, a highly polished red body in the lobby of 51 Astor Place. Easily seen from the sidewalk (and Google Maps) the object looks for your attention. It’s a Koons balloon, The Rabbit. Continue reading
OpenCity Projects added several new contributors to the roster this year and we are proud to announce that three of our top five were produced by them! Congratulations team on your outstanding articles on public space. Continue reading
Artist Miguel Chevalier recently created a series of immersive projections that added a spellbound layer to a University of Cambridge charity event. The fundraising occasion featured Chevalier’s designs front and center in the King’s College Chapel, as they wrapped the historic interior in a myriad of changing colours, patterns, and textures. It was a striking juxtaposition that fused contemporary imagery with 16th-century Gothic English architecture—a mashup of old and new that brought the building to life. Continue reading
Over 600 artworks critiquing the corporate takeover of the COP21 climate talks were installed in advertising spaces across Paris ahead of the United Nations summit beginning on November 30th. Amidst the French state of emergency banning all public gatherings following the terrorist attacks on 13 November in Paris, the Brandalism project has worked with Parisians to insert unauthorised artworks across the city that aim to highlight the links between advertising, consumerism, fossil fuel dependency and climate change. Continue reading
The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) and Van Alen Institute recently announced that SOFTlab is the winner of the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition. The second annual competition called for proposals from New York design firms for a temporary installation at the heart of the Flatiron District. SOFTlab’s winning proposal, Nova, will be the centerpiece of the Partnership’s annual holiday programming and a highly visible landmark in this thriving neighborhood of New York. Continue reading