Laverne Tiong, Spaces Between Bodies [×]
Daily life has been greatly changed by the pandemic of 2020 which has made the everyday a different place for most of us, with strict new rules of social distancing consisting of minimal physical contact and time constraints, in order to lessen the spread of the virus. Interaction between people has been diminished, engagement with real spaces, real bodies, with proximity itself has been lost. Although we are slowly returning to a less regulated life, humanity’s new norm will demand many changes to our everyday experiences most particularly within the urban context.
This body of work speculates on possible future public spaces that allow for physical and social encounters to naturally occur. Using the notion of measured thresholds within public spaces in the city, these design approaches simultaneously ensure distancing and also interaction among individuals.
The focus is to find ways of reactivating urban public spaces, to understand how individuals once used the spaces and what changes need to be enforced to ensure sensible social distancing solutions. The project considers ways to reframe the experience of spaces within the city to promote both proximity and physical distancing as well as to shift the behaviours of individuals to bring awareness of this new way of living.
The work emphasizes little encounters, ordinary moments of looking and the dignity of the overlooked. The spaces designed for this project are selected from micro sites that are often unnoticed within the Melbourne CBD. They emphasize the body and its place within open thresholds which are demarcated through a range of approaches, some constructed while others utilize technology. These methods seek to establish public and private spaces, the interior and exterior, whilst emphasizing social connection and shared experiences.