The current pandemic introduces regulations limiting social interaction and physical mobility. Due to the lack of exterior stimulation, this has heightened our spatial awareness and appreciation for our immediate surroundings. In response to this new reality, my major project addresses the question: what role can design play in constructing models of sociability whilst adhering to the new guidelines of physical distancing?
Located in Ruffey Lake Park, the project explores the opportunities present within a free public space. Parks are both a social and collective space for public interactions, yet due to the pandemic, moments which previously fostered interaction have been seriously impacted.
The interventions developed for ‘Look:See’ draw members of the public to spaces and moments often overlooked in Ruffey Lake Park. This project draws on techniques of video and photography that document the transient conditions apparent in nature. Interventions are developed from an archive of video and photographic approaches that explore ways of looking. The process of framing through these methods prompts us to reconsider how we see and respond to a space. Through various techniques of framing, micro spaces are magnified, creating a visual connection between the interior and exterior. This blurring of boundaries fabricates an experience of interiority within the public realm. These interventions choreograph encounters that enhance a bodily and introspective experience with various spaces in order to prompt social interactions.
This collection of work emphasises processes of duration to produce moments of interiority. The project choreographs possible journeys, stations and encounters throughout the park landscape to draw attention to alternative ways of seeing elements of ephemerality and permanence.
The work ultimately address two questions. How can design contribute or address this new complex social condition produced by the pandemic? How can moments of introspection and contemplation be initiated through bodily encounters within a public space to form moments of inter-human relations?