NotM: Ludens + Urban Prosthetics


[Image: Public Mobile Library]

One thing that AMNP loves about Ivan Hernandez Quintela of Ludens [our first featured ‘ninja of the month’] is that he’s working to solve problems that the rest of us may not even realize we face daily. Our relationship with public space and each other, as well as our day-to-day interaction with the physical environment are investigated by Ivan in a way that forces you to think about seemingly typical situations in new ways. Through what he calls ‘Aikido Architecture’ [in true ninja fashion], Ivan’s ‘Urban Prosthetics‘ attempt to appropriate public space for the user through adaptation and reinvention – using small architectural gestures to change our perception of public space – and activate that space for the public. Here we feature three examples that Ivan has provided of his ‘Urban Prosthetics’.

Shown above, the Public Mobile Library was designed as part of the Plataforma Art Festival.

The public mobile library is informal reading space capable of being moved into different parts of the city. Its main façade is a pivoting structure that as it comes down onto the ground, it becomes its access stair but also its main area for seating and resting.

The library – seemingly a simple box on wheels – is constructed on two sides [and roof] with woven white plastic strips meant to diffuse light as it enters the reading space contained within. Of the remaining sides, one is a built-in wooden bookshelf – the back/exterior of which serves as a public bulletin board – and the other folds down to create both the stairs to enter the ‘itinerant library‘ and outdoor seating for readers – freeing users from the typically static, stuffy confines of a traditional library. The ‘library’ is now the city itself.


[Image: Black Box]

The black box is a structure whose interior is painted with blackboard paint. In it, I painted a small instruction letting the users know they can draw or write on it and left a box of chalk inside. The idea is that the black box becomes a public theatre, a frame for activity, where the people who enter it and draw on it become the spectacle.


[Image: Unstable Obstacle]

The ‘unstable obstacle’ is a great example of the way in which Ivan looks at social interaction in public space through his work. What better way to change the way we perceive public space than by creating situations where users must communicate with one another – designing a structure that changes with each additional user.

The unstable obstacle is a flimsy boat-like bench where as people sit on it, they must take into consideration where other people are sitting – for if they not sit in relation to the others in order to keep the structure in balance, the structure [will] flip. The more people [who] use the structure, the more stable it becomes.

Plus, Ivan suggests completely different uses for the structure if it is simply flipped-over – as temporary shelter for the homeless, or perhaps even some kind of skateboarding obstacle.

View more of Ivan’s ‘Urban Prosthetics‘ at Ludens’ home page – and be sure to head back to AMNP next week for the following installement of NotM: Ludens, entitled ‘Inhabitable Toys’.

::the projects featured in this post were selected and images provided by Ivan Hernandez Quintela of Ludens – along with any quoted text::

Posted: July 28th, 2008
at 1:00pm by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,furniture,installation,featured ninjas,Ninjas of the Month

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