Stupid Cities - 2020
Materials: Workshops / Paper-pen / WebsiteWebsite: https://beta.stupidcities.com/
Stupid cities captures geo-tagged experiences of access micro-aggressions in public space. Creating community built maps that share the experiences of disability. The project focused on creating tools (both digital and paper) to empower, connecting allies to share & creating visibility for change.
As a wheelchair user I daily encounter being told through design that I do not belong in public spaces. Our digital route finding tools ignore important factors for wheel-based transportation like gradient, obstacles, surface roughness & un-dipped curbs. Environments full of micro-aggressions stop people engaging. A key part of micro-aggressions is that they are invisible to others, I have to use the road because a car has blocked the dipped curb, and this forced danger lives in my mind and nowhere else. Stupid Cities tries to exist within the moments of this experience and provide an active response, mapping and sharing with a community the micro-agggression you just experience.
There are great projects like https://wheelmap.org for accessibility to properties, but this project is about the journey, not the destination. Micro-aggressions are often temporary events in public space that are hard to capture, they however often cluster around hot spots within public spaces.
Both digital capture and paper map making activities where run with communities experiencing disability to explore the invisible barriers that exist within our public space.
Commissioned and supported by Bath & Bristol Creative R&D & SWCTN.
Thanks to Jon Somerscales (https://www.watershed.co.uk/studio/residents/jon-somerscales) for support and UX work.
Thanks for the Pervasive Media Studio Bristol and The Studio Bath for workshop space.