On Crown Street: A showcase and ‘pop-up urban research field office’

May 1, 2014

Crown Street in New Haven will be both the site and the subject of a project that is part exhibition and part data-gathering opportunity.

Interactive Crown Street, taking place Friday-Sunday, May 2-4, was organized by ProfessorElihu Rubin of the Yale School of Architecture and the students in his seminar “Urban Research and Representation” (Arch 4219).

Rubin has taught the course for the past three years. At the end of the semester, he and his students create what they describe as “a pop-up urban research field office,” where they share the work of the students in the seminar and collect new forms of urban data. This year’s “field office” is located at 200 Crown St.

“Urban planners have too frequently sought to simplify the city, to reduce it to an abstraction, to flatten-out its nuances …,” said Rubin.”This myopic view, however, can lead to disastrous interventions, like the wholesale clearance of neighborhoods mistaken for ‘slums.’ 

“Imagine instead interactive techniques that embrace — not deny — the complex and diverse meanings of the city,” he continued “This is the goal of Interactive Crown Street: to render the street as a plural and not a singular place, one that is shared as well as contested.”

Visitors to the field office can see dozens of student installations and projects featuring Crown Street in various forms — maps, sculpture, projection, video testimonials, and more. Members of the public can also share their own experience, memories, and impressions of Crown Street through such interactive projects  as “Cognitive Mapping Workshop” and “Disposable Camera Experiment.”

Food and drinks from restaurants and businesses on Crown Street will be served. Events will include an opening party, a musical performance, and the screening of a student film. 

Interactive Crown Street is open to the public free of charge. For further information and a schedule of events, visit the project’s Facebook page.

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