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06/11/2016
L.E.S. DECODED
Neighborhood Exploration & Conversation

Photos: Zachary Tyler Newton

Presented with TIPS (This is Public Space) & The Clemente

How can we better grasp—and question—the complex building, city, and social codes that shape the neighborhoods around us? That’s the question we sought to answer in a drop-in, self-guided exploration of the Lower East Side as we unraveled the official and unofficial rules of public space, from surface sidewalks and underground voids, to the rules of public restrooms and the limits of loitering.

We met at the Norfolk Street gate of the Clemente Center parking lot to get a guide to design interventions in four nearby public and semi-public spaces in the Lower East Side, including:

  • Sidewalk furniture installation designed by Buro Koray Duman with students from Parsons School of Constructed Environments
  • Interactive display of public restroom gender codes on Allen and Delancey streets (presented by QSAPP)
  • Outdoor napping experiment at Nathan Straus Playground
  • Lowline Lab, an open laboratory and technical exhibit detailing how a nearby abandoned trolly terminal can become an underground public park, The Lowline

Afterward, we hosted a discussion at 5:00 p.m. in the second floor Abrazo Interno Gallery at The Clemente, where we looked deeper into how decoding the regulations of public space can allow for unexpected “disruptions.” Participants: Miraya Berke, founder, POP Productions; David Breen, associate project manager, public spaces, New York City Department of Transportation; Naomi Hersson-Ringskog, co-founder, No Longer Empty; Karen Kubey, architectural and housing consultant and visiting associate professor, Pratt Institute School of Architecture; Taka Sarui, architect, BKSK Architects

This event was designated for AIA CES (3 LU | HSW) and ASLA CES PDH/HSW (3 LU)