CicLavia over the weekend  - Photo by Heejae Lee

CicLavia over the weekend – Photo by Heejae Lee

As designers charged with defining the landscape we strive to create and curate spaces. Spaces that bring positive change to the community, connecting the environment, while narrating a story. We strive to make an intimate connection between spatial landscapes and the user through the examination of patterns, maps, and demographics.

As a designer, one of the great points of inspiration in the study of curating the spatial landscape are people themselves. Not only from a demographic or statistical perspective, but by the process of visualizing the faces and experiences of the individual that shape and inhabit the design.

On that note, an inspiration of mine is an artist who goes by the moniker, JR. His works can be found throughout the world, both in rural and urban environments. His art highlights the faces of the community, pasted on walls and adjacent buildings at gigantic scale, reclaiming and transforming spaces by assigning a “face” to buildings and often abandoned structures. With each face and surface narrating a story, JR’s artwork creates an intimate connection with the community while clearly communicating who lives there.

As I look back to my own urban environment, what inspires me as a designer is the art of bringing communities and the faces of that community to light through inquiry and design…to not allow the design process people, but to have people process the design.


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