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Prize-winner FAIRE 2018

Making more beautiful corners in Paris

Leslie Gesnouin, designer

Making more beautiful corners in Paris This project proposes reconfiguring the insets in building lines on Paris’ streets, a neglected bug in urban design, by installing soft sculptural forms to offer new urban ambiences and a new relationship between the city and the body.

This project proposes reconfiguring the insets in building lines on Paris’ streets, a neglected bug in urban design, by installing soft sculptural forms to offer new urban ambiences and a new relationship between the city and the body.

 "I want to reconfigure the insets of building lines on Paris’ streets, a neglected bug in urban design, by installing flexible sculptural forms (with EPDM rubber, which is used to surface children’s playgrounds). These brightly colored sculptural forms stand out against the gray street and provide a sense of identity to these overlooked places as they invite passers-by to sit in and on them. Usages are not defined. The spaces can be appropriated in the spirit of a new urban ambience and a new relationship to the body.

How does this work? After installing a more or less organic form, I cover the surface of the wall and ground with EPDM rubber to provide seating and posture positions that are less formal than benches. Because the fabrication process is so simple, this principle can be adapted to other kinds of public space, such as squares, riverbanks, or the undersides of bridges. I have experimented with this process by creating test models. The procedure is simple and can be done on site by people who have never done much of any tinkering.  This project can be carried out as a workshop conducted with residents.

Over a two-day period, participants can experiment with the process, and propose and test new forms. These prototypes can be used as tests for a week to observe uses, postures, and appropriations and to perfect the final pieces. The public space is a field of experimentation that I want to keep exploring, and I continue to try to fit the body into these spaces.” 
Project by
Leslie Gesnouin, designer

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