Yellow Spot

In Eindhoven there are around 10 public, free urinals for men and only 1 unisex pay toilet women can use at a cost of 50 cents (in Amsterdam: 35 public urinals and 3 public toilets, respectively). Cities are also for women to live in, and being denied places to pee is not only a design flaw but discrimination.

Historically, women have had to adapt to ”standard designs” where the norm and the standard is masculine, designed by and for men. An example of this is the Dolle Minas, a feminist activist group from Amsterdam which was protesting for the provision of toilets for women in the 1970’s. In 2015, also in Amsterdam, Geerte Piening, in an urgent need to pee and not being able to find a nearby public toilet, was fined for peeing in public. She refused to pay the fine arguing that she had no other choice in the absence of women’s toilets. In court, the judge of her case decided to reduce the fine but still argued that “You can also urinate in a urinal as a woman, which may not be pleasant, but it’s possible.” This issue is not a linear timeline, but a vicious loop of history that keeps repeating itself.

The design of the toilet is inspired in the jerry can: on its durability and ability to contain and transport liquids. The waterless urinal can contain up to 20 liters of urine, later emptied through a valve and be reused. It can be transported around a city with its mobile booth (making it autonomous of any sewage system) while marching in demand of toilets for women with the emblem ”OCCUPIED BY WOMEN”. The Yellow Spot’s addresses an urgency and an alternative solution to the problem. Its explicit language of impermanence intentionally advocates for its functions to become permanent. Its temporality should not remain as such, but be replaced by an appropriate design: safe, hygienic and inclusive to all.

DESCARADOS [de-faced]

English version

We conducted a research on specific cultural tensions* in Colombia, as is misinformation on the LGBTI community, whose members are stigmatised, offended and attacked -both physically and psychologically- on a daily basis. The first outcome of the research was the project The Cry of the Closet!, which aimed to sensitise people from Bogotá with the community, by entering a closet-like installation and experience what it is to be a LGBTI member, triggering their empathy.

As a second iteration, Movimiento Cavilar developed DesCarados (de-faced) a dispositif/installation to further sensitise the citizens of Bogotá, most specifically the student population of the city centre. The ephemeral installation aimed to show two stories of a same person: a family man who drag-dresses at night and has a second life. For doing so, two parallel alleys had props and objects of this persons’ (which one?) life; spectators where invited to go in through one of the alleys, finding themselves at the end in a dressing room, where another spectator would have gone through the different path. At this point, the spectators become active participants, who are invited to discuss about the story they just saw.

*Cultural tensions is one of the twelve studios of the Industrial Design program at the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University in Bogotá, Colombia; the 2nd semester of 2018, the studio worked on “design and democracy”, and this project was its collective output.

Version en español

Generamos análisis basados en tensiones culturales específicas como problemáticas causadas por la desinformación sobre comunidades LGBTI las cuales estigmatizan, ofenden y atacan brutalmente con la integridad de los miembros de esta comunidad. Comienza la investigación de la comunidad LGBTI como tensión cultural con el proyecto El grito del closet, el cual busca que las personas de la sociedad sientan sensaciones similares a los miembros de la comunidad en cuanto a aspectos de su vida cotidiana con el fin de que logren asimilar la realidad de ellos mediante una estética en el dispositivo, interacción con él y la creación de un contexto en el cual el usuario se sienta como participante de la comunidad y encuentre empatía hacia esta.

Como iniciativa ante dicha tensión y propuesta de mediación DESCARADOS surge como proyecto de movimiento cavilar con el fin de mediar, interactuar, informar, sensibilizar y atacar la desinformación sobre las comunidades LGBTI tratando como interlocutor al transeúnte universitario en la zona centro de la ciudad de Bogotá. Realizamos una propuesta de diseño centrada en una instalación efímera y experiencial basándonos en dicotomías y contrastes generando contextos situados en un entorno familiar destruido por los prejuicios ante un participante de la comunidad LGBTI y un espacio que describe una ilusión transvestista situada en la intimidad, la locura y el lado rosa de un miembro de la comunidad.

Ambos contextos conforman un recorrido y cada uno cuenta una historia dicotómica diseñada para abrir un espacio de dialogo al final de cada uno, en el cual se desarrollará la revelación de cada camino tras el dialogo entre participantes basado en sus experiencias en el recorrido. El recorrido completo de la instalación narra la historia de un hombre padre de una familia conservadora, con esposa y un hijo menor. Llega a la vida del hombre un amigo Transexual y comienza a verse atraído por la vida del transvestismo en la cual comienza a tener problemas con su familia y comienza a destruirse mientras al mismo tiempo su vida como transvestista le comienza a dar emoción y tranquilidad. La instalación es una estructura que simula el lugar de un evento a presentar compuesta por una tarima que funciona como la entrada de nuestro usuario, la obra a presentar creada por los dos caminos con sus respectivos contextos apoyados de una ambientación hecha con utilería conseguida por el colectivo y un backstage desarrollado para prestar un espacio de dialogo y retroalimentación sobre el recorrido.




A call to society to listen to the cries of a repressed community.

This project emerged as a response to the situation of fear and repression that the LGBTI community in Colombia faces, when it comes to demonstrating against a backward thinking society and being rejected in different social situations.

This situation is addressed through an urban intervention that brings out of the confinement an object as simple as the closet, with its interior loaded with symbolic value. A space that is exposed as a source of information and reflection that is provided through audiovisual resources to generate greater awareness of the current situation of the LGBTI community and encourage society to support and promote equality and citizen democracy.

The intervention was carried out in the square outside the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University (Bogotá, Colombia), in order to begin generating awareness and to get more people to support the cause of this neglected community.



Un llamado a la sociedad a escuchar los gritos de una comunidad reprimida.

Este proyecto surgió como respuesta a la situación de temor y represión a la que se enfrenta la comunidad LGBTI a la hora de manifestarse frente a una sociedad retrógrada y ser rechazados en diferentes situaciones sociales.

Intervención urbana que saca del encierro un objeto tan simple como el armario, pero su interior está cargado de valor simbólico. Espacio que se presenta como fuente de información y reflexión expuesta mediante recursos audiovisuales, con el fin de generar más conciencia hacia la situación actual de la comunidad LGBTI e incentivar a la sociedad a apoyar y promover la igualdad y democracia ciudadana.

La intervención se realizó en la plaza de la universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano con el fin de generar conciencia poco a poco y que sean más las personas que apoyan este proceso de democracia .

XXX Zone

The research is an analysis of spatial design dedicated to legal prostitution services in the context of regulated and not regulated policies. The research want to analyse and classify the topic of prostitution under the characteristics common to buildings and urban spaces to be able to define typologies.

Elements like: urban planning, time schedule, spatial design elements, signs, economics and social values of the phenomenon in Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Zurich made possible to understand which factors could be implemented in Rimini. The Italian City experiences street prostitution as not regulated and problematic.

Findings are organised into the Intentional Development Manifesto,  showing possible scenarios. The cross link between design and context come together resulting in designs for prostitution zones, named in the research as XXX Zone.

The research of spaces of prostitution fulfil a designer’s urge to discuss real-life events, where the goal is to create an open dialogue in which cultures show their way to deal with prostitution.

Shop Around the Corner. Storytelling intervention

Storytelling intervention is a practice that aims to create a framework for placing a narrative within specific public spaces through different methods of storytelling and process-led means of artistic expression. The objective of such practice is to approach a public space as a platform for dialogue and participation. In this case, the dialogue, however, does not happen directly, but is enabled through the previously untold and unheard stories within the given space. The stories are interpreted and reintroduced to the environment in the shape of physical artefacts or artworks, thus adding new meanings to the public space.

The objective of the artistic process in Cork (Ireland) was to empower the traders of North Main Street through making their stories heard and known to the neighbourhood and to create a dialogue about the current state of the street in the scale of larger Cork. The main stages of the process – collecting stories, processing and transforming them into artistic outcomes and bringing them back to the street – were planned and implemented over five days, with a presentation following on day six. The materials and means were not defined from the start, but were to be determined through engagement with the collected stories and the physical space they refer to.

Upon the collection of images, videos, stories and material artefacts, the brainstorming phase of ‘Shop Around the Corner’ started. It was brief, as the collected stories appeared to be quite straight-forward, prompting rather literal interpretation. The narratives revealed sentimental and nostalgic aspects, a common theme connecting most of the stories. Certain artefacts and materials were donated by the primary storytellers and other supporters to contribute to the intervention.

Nine stories were chosen to be recreated in the final intervention. Five of the stories were childhood memories from an email I had received prior to my arrival in Cork by a pharmacist who grew up above the pharmacy she later inherited from her mother. Others had been discovered during the first three days of the project. Most of the memories were interpreted through spatial installations integrated into meaningful locations in the Street. One of the stories was told through a performance. The individual installations represented the memories of the participants, thus resembling a tour of memories that could be attended in the Street during the final day of the festival. The tenth element of the intervention was a triple video projection in one of the shop windows. The first screen showed photos in a loop taken in the Street during the research phase. The second showed the making process, while the third screened rough cut of the documentary based on the conversation between the two traders. Some of the stories remained in the Street long after the actual tour, without being rejected by the space, community or authorities.

*The film ‘Shop around the corner’ is a documentary essay on a neighbourhood and site-specific art. It is one of the outcomes of the site-specific storytelling intervention. If you want to watch the film, contact me on my e-mail.

Phantom Railings


Site Specific Interactive Acoustic Installation
Malet Street Gardens, Bloomsbury, London

Phantom Railings was a project triggered by the discussion of gated gardens and the control of public city space in LondonThe work was an interactive sound piece that recreated the absence of the original railings of a garden in central London, which were removed during the 1940s.

The installation recalls a particular episode in London’s social (and spatial) history: the removal of railings from London’s private squares as part of the war effort, the subsequent ‘democratisation’ of green space in the city centre, and the ruling decision to reinstate fences in the newly accesible public spaces.

Between 2012 and 2014, Phantom Railings was installed in Malet Street Gardens, a garden whose railings where removed during the war and, unusually, never replaced, leaving a line of iron stumps along the surrounding wall.

Using sensor-based acoustic devices, the installation, traced the movement of pedestrians and translated it into the familiar sound produced by running a stick along an iron fence. The pitch of each railing’s sound was set to vary according to the pedestrian’s speed and proximity, allowing the piece to be ´played´ as desired. The music produced by this urban instrument was captured as a real-time audio-visual score and streamed live through the project´s website (

A 20 minute score produced by 11 dancers playing the Phantom Railings can be accessed here:


By bringing visibility to the absent railings of Malet Street Gardens, the installation aimed to discuss accessibility and the control of urban public space by promoting a critical awareness of the social (and spatial) history of the city.

Outsider: Public Art and the Politics of the English Garden Square, published by common-edition in 2015, is a book that documents the performance of the Phantom Railings and discusses further the project´s relation to the histories and politics of the English Garden Square. Outsider has contributions by Jeremy Deller and the landscape architect and historian Todd Longstaffe-Gowan.


Catalina Pollak Williamson in collaboration with: Adrian Godwin, Guillaume Zenses, Steve Kelly, Nathanael Price, Bartira Sena, Ken Boak, Daniel Soltis, Debbie Davis.

The project was supported by the Centre of Creative Collaboration -C4CC, University of London.

More information about the project can be found at:




R-URBAN is a bottom-up strategy that explores the possibilities of enhancing the capacity of urban resilience by introducing a network of resident-run facilities to create complementarities between key fields of activity (economy, housing, urban agriculture, culture). R-Urban initiates locally closed ecological cycles that will support the emergence of alternative models of living, producing and consuming.
R-urban in Hackney Wick established a collective and participatory process leading to the creation of a new public ‘recycling’ facility centred around ecological and civic practices while exploring issues around mobile urbanism and reversible use of vacant urban sites.
To overcome the current crises (climate, resources, economic, demographic), we must, as philosopher Andre Gorz says, ‘produce what we consume and consume what we produce’. This balance between production and consumption through local sustainable sourcing can not occur without changes in the living and working lifestyles of citizens who must be involved in these changes through collaborative practices supporting each other through local networks.


Ridley’s was a project by The Decorators in collaboration with Atelier Chan Chan. It was a public realm intervention that combined food and architecture, featuring a food-for-food exchange organism. Ideally located alongside a street market, Ridley’s worked within the market’s existing infrastructure to negotiate its social and economic contingencies.

Ridley’s was a collaborative project that destabilized the traditional format of the restaurant where the boundaries between “designer”, “producer” and “consumer” tore apart to give way to new roles: everyone was a maker, a fundamental cog of the food system. Creating its own alternative economy, Ridley’s demonstrated that architecture can be more than a commodity, socially engaged and influential. By expanding its tools and modes of practice and borrowing from the procedures of informal and spontaneous exchange systems.

Visitors to the restaurant became part of a cycle. £3s worth of market produce from our shopping list could be exchanged for the dish of the day at lunch or £15 provided an evening meal,with diners getting back a £5 food shopping voucher for use at the market. The produce collected at lunch was used to cook dinner, the money made at dinner was used to get ingredients for the following day’s lunch, and the voucher given with the dinner brought people back to the market long after the intervention was over. Ridley’s was a self-sufficient restaurant, co-existing with the market, the traders and its neighbours.

A line-up of local chefs created daily menus using market produce only. Diners sat at a communal table high above the market. Meals prepared in the ground floor kitchen, the hub of exchange and production, were raised by a mechanical table up to the guests above. This scenographic journey emphasised the vertical transformation of the raw food at market level to the cooked meals at the elevated podium above. The temporary summer installation was an opportunity to imagine an alternative socio-economic programme for the public realm.

Carpentry by Sam Trice
 Identity and graphic design by Guglielmo Rossi
 Thanks to the photographers: Dosfotos, Rachel Ferriman, Jessie Levene.

Giardino Ammirato

Giardino Ammirato is an initiative looking to collectively re-imagine an abandoned public garden in the city of Lecce, Italy. The garden was part of the original 16th century structure which currently houses the cultural association Ammirato Culture House and the pedagogical artistic experiment Free Home University.

The project was born out of the group’s desire to reclaim this forgotten space and collaboratively reinvent it for communal and convivial use. The ‘garden with no name at the crossroads of two streets’ has been abandoned for years despite its historical, social and environmental value as one of the few green areas in Lecce. Neighbours from the area see it as a problematic space, dirty and unsafe – used only by dogs, their owners and a group of youngsters.

The cultural organization attempted to take care of the garden, but despite their seasonal cleaning and effort to bring their activities into the space, the garden continued going back to its original state of neglect. Lacking the support of a local group of people sharing interest in the up keeping of the garden.

Wanting their initiative to grow, Ammirato Culture House and Free Home University invited Constructlab to make an intervention in the space that would serve as a platform for discussion and action around the future use of the garden, aiming to generate synergy that could be carried out and create a sustainable situation in the garden for the future.

A network of local people and initiatives interested in recuperating the garden was developed during an in-situ residency in the months prior to the intervention. Together, we created a cultural program to activate the garden during the summer months, in order to simultaneously open up the cultural centre towards the neighbourhood and to invite individuals to use the garden.

With the motto ‘’ E facciamolo, un giardino!’’  ( And, lets make a garden!) a group of international creatives, local associations and neighbours started a two-week activation period in the month of May. The first week of the intervention was an ‘’open-building site’’ inviting individuals from the community to actively join-in the process. This resulted in the construction of a scaffolding-like structure on the inside and the outside of the courtyard, and multiple smaller structures in the garden that opened up the space for new activities.

During the second week, a variety of actions and workshops such as a the construction of a public oven, the planting of a small urban garden, an aperitivo for dogs, reading groups and theatre performances, were carried out bringing life to the space. This inaugurated a program of weekly activities in the garden that took place during the summer months.

Following the first intervention a grouping of individuals, who participated in the intervention, is presently taking care of the garden and organizing an autumn program in order to carry on with activating the space and continue inviting neighbours to join the process of living, sharing and taking care of this public garden.

Online community:

Constructlab team:

Ammirato Culture House: