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The Third Person
36 minutes | Mar 9, 2019
#003 Fred Kent || Animating Urban Spaces with Improvisation
Fred Kent founded The Project for Public Spaces over 40 years ago. He likes to say that if architecture is frozen music, then urban planning is composition and placemaking is improvisational street performance. Very early on in his career, he became part of a community of people -- Margaret Mead, Jane Jacobs and William H. White -- that formed a thesis around thriving public spaces not through the cold snapshots of a city from an aerial viewpoint, or the sterile abstractions of data, but through the keen power of human observation and the belief that richness is all around us if we're only willing to look. These pioneering urbanists famously stood up to Robert Moses and other destructive notions that prioritized traffic and sales over basic human needs with an approach that was as radical in its simplicity as it was transformative. Based on lightweight design tenets from community organizing that help facilitate public life with the help of the public, Fred has helped local communities reimagine and transform spaces they live in into places they love to live in over 3,000 communities and 48 countries. He and his partner are currently busy expanding their mission into PlacemakingX, a global network of citizens who are leading the fight against special interests and the dehumanizing effects of corporate urbanization by catalyzing change according to their collective visions. Note: The clip at 7:27 is from the Social Life of Small Urban Spaces by William H. Whyte, who was a collaborator and inspiration for The Project of Public Spaces. ++++ This is the third episode in a 5-part series about Designing Wild Bodies and Space. Check out our other conversations with a Choreographer (Andrea Miller from Gallim Dance) and an Interactive Narrative Designer (Nick Fortugno from Playmatics / Come Out and Play). Stay tuned for our upcoming conversation with an Urban Geographer to understand the invisible forces governing today's urban spaces and a nonfiction narrative episode to wrap it all up. Thanks to Brad Clymer for the dope intro music and Lawrence Williams for producing this episode!
36 minutes | Feb 23, 2019
#002 Nick Fortugno || Hacking Bodies to Design Feelings
Nick Fortugno is interested in making games for those of us who aren't gamers. Why? Because once you consent to entering an immersive narrative world, you are stepping outside the reality you inhabit and opening up the possibility of exploring new ways of being and of relating to yourself, ideas, others and the world. What else allows you to do that?? Among many things, Nick is one of the founders of Come Out and Play, a festival that turns cities into playgrounds. We talk about physical psychology as a tool for designing bodies for specific emotional outcomes and how urban designers have to choose between designing for what's comfortable for humans vs. what is good for the social fabric of humanity (<-- we choose the latter!). In other words, the question of agency is not a technological one, but primarily a social one. ++++ This is the second episode in a 5-part series about Designing Wild Bodies and Space. Check back here for explorations - a mix of conversations and nonfiction narrative - first to deconstruct the topic with an Urban Geographer, and next to reimagine it with a Choreographer, a Placemaker, and an Interactive Narrative Designer. Thanks to Brad Clymer for the dope intro music and Lawrence Williams for producing this episode!
32 minutes | Feb 4, 2019
#001 Andrea Miller || Choreography as a Human Chemistry Experiment
Andrea Miller is the artistic director and choreographer of Brooklyn's Gallim Dance. To experience Gallim is to step into a world where concepts that are sometimes difficult to express through words are translated into visceral experiences that at once feel uncanny, yet strangely familiar. Andrea spent the last year as the first choreographer-in-residence at the MET which was another inflection point in her journey as an artist in relentless pursuit of what is possible when the stage and the boundaries between performer and audience dissolve. In To Create A World, her latest work, “ideas can make their way - and at the same time be transformed and destroyed - through the body". If, as Andrea says, "you and I have the same body", how can we use dance - the art form of the city (per Jane Jacobs) - to reimagine how we encounter strangers in urban spaces? How can we dance with difference rather than reckon with it with our outdated brain structures? ++++ This is the first episode in a 5-part series about Designing Wild Bodies and Space. Check back here for explorations - a mix of conversations and nonfiction narrative - with a Placemaker, an Urban Geographer and an Interactive Narrative Designer. Thanks to Brad Clymer for the dope intro music and sound production!
1 minutes | Jan 27, 2019
Introducing The Third Person
Introducing The Third Person, a podcast where we take a step back and explore what could be if only the way that things currently are didn’t have such a hold over our imaginations.
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