Approach to designing in public spaces

My approach to designing and making art for public space begins with extensive research of the place itself. At the start, I research a place’s history, its formal qualities, both built and natural. I investigate the surrounding location and how the space might evolve in the future. I actively collect data of all sorts, finding elements that relate to aesthetic and social concerns. I am interested in the qualities of architectural and natural space—in the forms, proportions, lines, textures, colors, and relationships to their environment. Finally, but most importantly, my process is informed by how a site will be used by those who inhabit it. I like to work with those people directly, through workshops, discussions or direct collaboration. For me, these kernels of data and input inform a complex equation that potentially can capture the essence of a place.

I am particularly interested in places that people travel through. Paths, for example, are philosophically and physically of great interest to me and appear, in various forms, in many of my projects. I enjoy creating situations that compel the traveler to slow down, to stop and take notice of what might otherwise be overlooked. And in the process, it is my hope to rhyme the integral aspects of a site with conceptual and formal grace.


©2012 Sheila Ghidini