This project is a demonstration of human connection and communal harmony with people that live around us. It illustrates how taking the steps to form relationships with people in one’s community can lead to a sustainable living environment. Just as Yi-Fu Tuan says, we take for granted the “space and place [that are] basic components of the lived world”—it is when we think about them more closely that they “may assume unexpected meanings and raise questions we have not thought to ask”.
One might ask; where are the opportunities to connect with those around us? What is the exact moment that trust begins to form and strangers become familiar? While you ponder these questions, let me briefly explain the difference between the concept of ‘space’ and ‘place’ within the context of this proposal. Space is simply square footage, a distance that is a “meaningless spatial concept apart from the idea of goal or place”—it is the unintentional that exists before we form it into a place. A place is where we “pause”; we settle down because the location is advantageous in one way or another, and our presence imbues the former space with a goal and an intention. Because of this pause, there is an opportunity for “a locality to become a center of felt value”. That opportunity is what we want to take in this project. We live so closely with one another, that within these spaces people share in our everyday lives, we are given chance after chance to connect. Yet, we don’t connect and relationships are not formed where they could have been. The urban environment lends itself to making “passive contact” relationships in spaces that we find ourselves in while entering and exiting our private space. But, how can we get to a place where chance meetings become opportunities to share our lives? This project is geared towards changing this trend of isolation and alienation within an urban space: the alley where I live.