adj. without preparation; on the spur of the moment; unrehearsed


noun. an outdoor area for children to play on; any place of recreation

Finalist Human Cities Festival 2012: Reclaiming Public Space (Brussels, Belgium)

Project by: Sarah Gelbard, Kelly Gillelan, Katelyn Lucas, Jeff Salmon



As the capital of Canada many of the characteristics synonymous with the international image of being Canadian are also present in Ottawa—apologetic, conservative, and content.  Ottawa, like Canada in many cases, prefers the well traveled path and is rarely at the forefront setting new trails.  This consistency has become routine as evidenced by the citizens of Ottawa who commute into the downtown core of the city.  Like the uninterrupted motion of the hands of a clock they arrive in the city and disperse into their respective buildings.

[OCTranspo Transitway]  

The public  space of public transit is often ironically removed and private.  Commuters rarely consciously interact with this space or their fellow commuters. Despite its liberating intentions,public transportation and suburban life have led to a sense of alienation from the city and community and a heightened distinction and compartmentalization between the spaces of work and play. Operating in this context required more than just installing simple interventions, it required granting permission to passersby to play.



Find analogous context in BRU upon arrival and adapt installations and approach to respond to its unique spaces and routines.


  1. Upcycle  the  under-appreciated  spaces  of  public  transit  into places  of  social  and  physical  interaction  through  minimal  and spontaneous interventions that encourage play.
  2. Connect YOW and BRU in a dialogue about public ownership of public space.


Easily  transported  and  adaptable  installation  designs  similar  in concept  and  materiality  to  YOW  installations  to  maintain  the flexibility to respond thoughtfully to local condition.  Encourage public participation through social networking and media.

View our yow/bru Human Cities 2012 proposal package.

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