The project, The Layout of the Common, reconsiders and rethinks the design of public spaces in the context of Montreal for the last 25 years. It identifies the trends that mark the production of the built public domain in the Quebec metropolis by proposing to redesign the definition of community-individual relations through research-creation. The project studies how the City of Montreal and its boroughs have implemented or modified the physical interfaces used to connect administrative and political entities to the city’s occupants. The research methodology is based on case studies at different scales and of different types, including the recycling bin, bus shelters, Municipal Court service points, eco-centers and Accès Montréal offices. The subject of study is therefore public space in a very broad sense, bringing together urban civic and political space with everyday experience. Over the three-year course of the project we plan to establish a case inventory and conduct in-depth research on a selection of ten to twelve projects. Our methods include documentary research, field photography, analysis by drawing and interviews with people who participated in the development of the projects. Our objective, at the end of these three years, is to be able to establish links between the various projects studied, to synthesize this facet of the development of Montreal’s public and political space and to suggest some avenues for reflection on its future development. It is thus a question of renewing our collective conception of public spaces, while raising questions about ethics and representation in the design project, important issues in the current social, economic and political context.

Thomas-Bernard Kenniff, Virginie Lasalle, Anne Cormier and Louise Pelletier
research funded by the Fonds de Recherche Québec Société Culture (soutien à la relève professorale) 2017-2021

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