For our group project, we picked the words “egalitarian” and “park”. As we started to brainstorm, we were actively trying to think by making something physical we could talk about. As we roamed the room for various materials, we knew we wanted to have an open park with no specific limitations on who could or could not come in. So definitely no fence.
In the process, we added different design features to sort of emphasize that point. We started to rethink the program of the park itself. We added a pond that had a path around it, but it also allowed people to swim in the pond. We also wanted people to feel safe in this park, so we invited locals to participate in a marketplace where anyone could sell to people in the park. The people in these markets also act as a self policing mechanism, with no need for a larger surveillance of the park.
We also wanted to invite more people and provide resources they wouldn’t otherwise be able to get. So, we also placed a small mobile health care clinic that provides free basic check ups.
We also wanted to be able to teach, but not necessarily create an exclusive class. So, we embedded a nature walk that has plaques, teaching people about the different trees in the park.
We also wanted some sort of food education, so we created these picnic benches for an informal food share program.
As we modeled different parts, although our discussions centered around specific instances of program, each addition called attention to the type of park we wanted to build.
Looking up and seeing this little park filled with different activities to provide for community, while tearing and folding the next small idea we wanted to add, what started to emerge was a colorful surface filled with different, but equal opportunity activities. Of course, we were nowhere near comprehensively thinking about the idea of egalitarianism, and what each addition entailed, but this little park was filled with ideas centered on sharing and giving, and thats what we believed egalitarianism should bring forward.