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ProjectDesign sketch
LocationSlaaghwijk, Leidentxt
ClientWijken voor Kunst, Leidentxt

Between 2009 and 2015 Wijken voor Kunst organized art projects in neighbourhoods that are changing. The Slaaghwijk district of Leiden is a ‘problem area’. Many different parties are working together to make this a socially stronger area. When the area was originally built, it was done with the best of intentions, but is an area where it is difficult to find your way through the monotonous urban planning design and where there is little involvement with the living space. Wijken voor Kunst aims to improve the social cohesion of the neighbourhood by introducing cultural elements. Together with Fleur van den Berg and Merijn Tinga, I developed the art vision VIAVIA for the Slaaghwijk. The core of this vision was formed by the concepts of orientation and identity.

In developing VIAVIA I focused on the idea of ‘address’, highlighting the question: Where am I? It is a very green neighbourhood; the blocks of flats are in a kind of park, but the street names and numbers are not at all clear. Not only this, the flats are difficult to distinguish from one another. Each apartment building was therefore given its own name, based on the street names: names of birds of prey such as the sparrow hawk, the goshawk, the condor and the crow. These names or the sounds made by the birds have been put on the roofs in Latin so as to make it possible to recognise the place where you live or where you need to be, creating a roof landscape of texts set off against the sky.

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