The urban environment is full of graphic symbols that give instructions on how to move. Arrows and signs point us down streets, and symbols on the ground aid us with social distancing. However, there are many other factors in the built environment that signal how our bodies are expected to physically interact with urban space – the width of the path, the height of benches, the placement of doorways, the hardness or softness of surfaces.
In this workshop participants explored the streets around PACT Centre for Emerging Artists in Erskineville, Sydney. They were encouraged to observe how various elements of the urban space guide our movement. Exploring the explicit or implicit rules of public space, they employed games and tasks to playfully disrupt these systems. Through exercises that included listening, talking, moving, and walking they considered how the body can be used as a mapping tool, to transform knowledge and experience of familiar urban environments. Returning to PACT, the group created an experimental map for navigating the surrounding streets.