Democratizing Space for Public Good
If you’ve been keeping up with us here at Layar, you probably know that one of the core visions we have been discussing is space.
Space is an opportunity, as we see it. Layar co-founder Maarten Lens-FitzGerald recently explained how Layar hopes to “democratize” space in his interview with UNTETHER.tv. Layar strategist and evangelist Gene Becker also recently shared his thoughts about how augmented reality is creating new perspectives on public space.
“When you look at who the true AR enthusiasts are, who is doing the cutting edge creative work in AR today, itÌs artists, activists and digital humanities geeks. Their projects explore and challenge the ideas of ownership and exclusivity of physical space, and the flowing irreversibility of time. They are starting to see AR as the emergence of a new construction of reality, where the physical and digital are no longer distinct but instead are irreversibly blended.” - Gene Becker
This vision takes inspiration from the use of public space by activists, street artists and other groups that take advantage of public space to share their ideas and encourage discussion.
One such artist, Candy Chang, was recently interviewed by Juxtapoz magazine, which covers art and culture. The article has circulated around the Layar office today as a bit of Friday inspiration, so we thought we’d share some highlights here on the blog.
Chang discusses what drives her and inspires her to create some of her well known public art pieces, such as the “Before I Die” wall and the “I Wish This Was” sticker project.
“Before I Die” is a chalkboard-painted wall she constructed on the side of an abandoned building that encourages anyone to write down what they want to do before they died. The sticker project encouraged people to share what they wished various vacant storefronts would become.
“There’s little dialogue between the people who live and work in a neighborhood and the local businesses that open. What if there was? How can residents influence the types of stores and services that enter their neighborhood?” - Candy Chang
Many of the ideas and principals of the democratization of space which we espouse at Layar are shared by Chang. “I’m also more and more insterested in redefining the ways we share information in public space to improve our personal well-being,” she says. “It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget what really matters to you.”
“What if we could find out what all our neighbors pay in rent? What if we could say what businesses we want in these vacant storefronts? What if we could learn about people’s experiences and stories with particular buildings? What if we could use public space to share and learn what matters most to the people around us?” - Candy Chang
Be sure to check out Candy’s interview in Juxtapoz as it serves as a strong indicator of our inspiration and vision at Layar today!