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The Project

Catalyst and Stimulus to Action

The in-between lives. It can be occupied, squandered, ignored – but also revalued, fostered, cultivated. The boundaries of the in-between are negotiable, and they shift continuously.

 

A series of events with exploratory walks is designed to sensitize our perceptions to these places, to promote creative dialogue between various protagonists, and to encourage diverse forms of use of the in-between. Documentation in the form of an album will hopefully provide an impetus for successor projects that intervene effectively into the residential environment.

maerkli-gutstrasse spielplatz trottoirrand treppenhaus hauseingang-1

Propositions

We regard the construction of transitional spaces as all-encompassing social and design activity that is enacted on three different levels, namely those of the perception, design, and appropriation of space. Our target audience – and our experts – includes users and residents, architects and landscape architects, landlords/homeowners and maintenance workers, young and old. We assume that a subjective view of the transition from private to public strengthens personal responsibility for the residential environment. Conversely, the perspective that extends from public space to the private residential zone sets its sights on political responsibility and aims toward collective, institutional action. Both viewpoints are accorded space in this project.

Aims

The project hopes to contribute to discussions about the densification of the residential environment within urban contexts with specific reference to Zürich. In contemporary planning, plans and façades are accorded much weight. But how are in-between spaces planned, perceived, and utilized? What facilitates or obstructs them?

 

The project strives to strengthen our perceptions of the in-between, to sensitize us to options for use and spatial elements, to call attention to the invisible and visible thresholds and barriers that subdivide space between private and public.

 

The project promotes the exploration of zones that cannot be classified unequivocally either as private or as public. Such zones harbor the potential for collective utilizations.

Events

This process-oriented project is conceived as a series of four events. Three of them were conceived as panel discussions with experts. The results of the project were summarized at a closing ceremony. Exploratory walks in the field inspired the panel discussions and supplied illustrative materials. Accordingly, localities for the events were chosen for specific urban districts, with due consideration given to the times of year and their influence on activities in semipublic space.