Monday, 11 April 2011

where could all the roads go

"Dead end"
Michael Langeder with Griet Depoorter
an urban intervention proposal
Brooklyn, New York (competition entry), 2008

The street in the contemporary sense is a byproduct of the "fordian" idea that is awaiting extinction in the forthcoming century. Raising oil prizes and the need for freeing our cities (and earth) from further pollution make the car as we know it to an inappropriate vehicle for human displacement. Many major cities organize car free days - city centers are being transformed into car free zones. City planning is re-focusing on it`s inhabitants after freeing itself from the bold belief in modernity. What we have to deal with are the leftovers of a shipwrecked utopia - our streets and junctions! The proposal introduces a green island within the crossing of 9th street and 4th avenue which becomes to a vital place for public life. 4 mirror-walls frame a rectangular place - blocking traffic and generating a "pedestrian only" zone that can serve several public needs. The mirrors virtually extend the street views through their reflections and indicate the "dead ends" by showing the way back. The street becomes to an endless nonfunctional element that is awaiting it's new "inhabitants". On the inner side of the invisible border the mirrors produce an endless garden - an artificial nature separated from any surrounding disturbances.

A tradition of exclusion for a greater goal is continued that started in the 1970's with Gordon Matta-Clarks Splittings and Cuttings in the very same city.

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