Urban Skin Prototypes

"Urban Skin" prototypes was my thesis project at ITP-NYU. At that time (2013-2015), a wave of protests against police brutality crossed the country, following seemingly unjustified deaths of African Americans by police. In New York, the #millionsmarch congregated a pretty massive amount of people protesting against police brutality. I was inspired by that movement, but also disappointed with the lack of progress on the side of the authorities to recognize the problem and do something about it. All that amazing energy, all that display of collective anger, but also love and community, compelled me to find ways of capturing and remembering those moments, which otherwise could get lost in the noise.

I decided to work on a series of prototypes that would create a sort of "skin" for objects on the street, like fire hydrants, park bench armrests, street signes, and other similar objects.  The idea was to "occupy" those objects for the purpose of creating the likes of a memorial for those protests. Ideally, the skin would fit perfectly on some of the standardized objects in the street, and be weather resistant and durable (which was not precisely the case with some of my prototypes...). This skin would be made of texts, chants, hashtags and the like captured from twitter during the protest. I extracted recurring phrases of those tweets and put them together to sort of "texture", which which to cover the objects.