Glen Cummings

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Safar 7 Urban Landscape Lab

  • Central Park as “Disneyfied urban natural condition”
  • began work  on a proposal for a signage system for national parks but got distracted
  • opted for audio signage system instead, treating the 7 line as an urban park
  • interested in the weird animal conditions along the seven line (snakehead fish–invasive fish that can walk) and weeds and trees growing out of the sidewalks
  • people wanted to get involved so they made up projects for them to do

 

Ceation of a scaled model at studio x

  • making it global and doing a megaexhibiton of urban nature in several cities across the world (jeanette spent a year try to get grants to do it)
  • managed to get three grants to do it and they all ended up falling through
  • Beijing grant was only $10,000

 

Were you able to distinguish your own identity as a form or as an aesthetic from the project?

  • realized that if they were going to work with people they wouldn’t be able to do everything in their own way and make things look super great
  • they pushed against their definition of what they do
  • there was a fight against themselves to have aesthetic control
  • no one else in the process thought there were problems with it visually, since they talked more about what the work was supposed to do than what it was supposed to look like
  • found that inviting people to participate requires a more casual graphic language
  • much more possible if it seems accessible rather than if it’s super-branded
  • when they started the studio they didn’t think that all of their projects necessarily had to have clients, as “projects without clients will eventually find clients”
  • working with other people is still an important part of the culture
  • they try to make it about what other people want to do in the studio framework
 
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