“Lots” of Gatherings!: when ‘homeless’ talents meet ‘useless’ parking-lots
Name: Yimeng Zhu
Institution / Company: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Name: Weixi Chen
Institution / Company: Harvard Graduate School of Design
-JOURNAL PICK of FUTURE PUBLIC SPACE Competition
After the outbreak of COVID-19, access to public space was restricted. Home is safe and warm, but it also comes with constraints: limited space, disruptive domestic issues, and most importantly, the absence of interaction with others. Wishing to indulge in the immersive public experience again, urbanites’ urges are now contradicted with the strongly executed social distancing. The challenge we are facing is not simply how to reactivate the urban scene safely but rather how to embrace this unprecedented situation as a chance to reclaim and remake. What if we bring the parks, theatres and museums into the ‘useless’ parking-lots and transform them into the new hubs for the ‘homeless’ urbanites?
“Lots of Gatherings” sites in an open-air parking lot, which is currently vacant and already rooted strategically amongst the neighbourhoods of downtown Cambridge (MA, USA). Using a matrix of pie-shaped transformable fixtures (6 feet radius) as built-in social distancing structures, we intend to turn this parking lot into a gathering lot. During daytime, the fixtures function as both spaces for small scale family outings and friends’ gatherings. At night, the rotatable modules with audio-visual devices attached can be rearranged to host large-scale performances and fully immersive experiences.
#Integration of diverse social groups #Sense of belonging & Placemaking #Public Buildings & Social Gatherings #Sharing Economy #Public Space organization & maintenance