Blank Page Plaza

Brief

Intelligent Futures
2017

COMMENT

In Summer 2017, Intelligent Futures and their colleagues at Blank Page Studio transformed a slab of sidewalk into something a bit more interesting. Fifteen square metres of sidewalk space was turned into Blank Page Plaza – an iterative and welcoming public place for passersby to play games, learn something new, or perhaps just sit down and stay awhile.

The project is a dynamic collaboration between ideas and innovations of the artists, urbanists, architects, and entrepreneurs of Blank Page Studio. Blank Page Plaza was comprised of multiple short-term interventions, changing biweekly. This urban prototype model allowed for ideas to be quickly tested and adapted.

Interventions in the space included an outdoor patio with planters to grow herbs and flowers, a variety of interactive sidewalk games, a mini-golf course, a crowdsourced wayfinding map that highlighted neighbourhood offerings, and a collaborative drawing board. Materials used in each intervention were simple and affordable. The space was also adapted for day-long community-wide events as well; when Kensington Village transformed into Harry Potter’s Dragon Alley, Blank Page Plaza turned itself into a wand library and herbology garden.

The intent of this tactical approach is to communicate that effective activation of public space doesn’t have to be too difficult or expensive. We hope that Blank Page Plaza can inspire a ripple effect of public space activation within Calgary, leading to a robust public realm and more engaged communities.

design, engagement, urbanism