An important element of Ottoman architecture in Turkey was the addition of birdhouses affixed to the outer walls of significant city structures, a safe space for regular avian guests to nest outside of mosques, inns, bridges, libraries, schools, and fountains.
In addition to providing shelter, the birdhouses fulfilled a religious vision. They were thought to grant good deeds to those that built the tiny homes. Through their abundance and care, the structures encouraged a love of animals in the Turkish public, citizens who adopted several nicknames for the homes over the years including “kuş köşkü” (bird pavilions), “güvercinlik” (dovecots) and “serçe saray” (sparrow palace).
Creative placemaking in Kabul: does house painting by the authorities really improve the lives of impoverished migrants in the city’s informal periphery? Does it promote pride of place or mere aesthetic improvement? The debate reflects the views of local residents, as quoted in The New York Times (30 May 2017):
While many of the residents have been supportive of the effort, it has also stirred some backlash among activists who say it is a type of whitewashing of the poverty that prevails in those neighborhoods.
Musa Khan, a resident of Joy Sheer, said the government was better off focusing on paving paths to the homes high up the mountains or providing water to those houses whose residents still have to carry buckets on their backs.
“Every day, children slip and fall down on their way to school and return home with broken arms or broken heads,” Mr. Khan said.
But Gul Jan, 50, who was transporting buckets of water on her back from the foot of the mountain in Joy Sheer, was less critical.
“Water is important,” she said. “But color is also important.”
An installation in the museum’s Process Lab, Citizen Design invites visitors to engage, empathize, and help envision a better America by encouraging civic dialogue at a local level. Through a series of questions and choices, visitors identify issues that personally matter and use design-thinking tactics to creatively brainstorm possible interventions. Interactive features designed for the installation allow visitors to explore how their concerns align with those of other visitors to the museum.
The Boombox at Mautene Court serves as a prototype for future temporary retail and cultural spaces in People Plazas across the City in the next several years. A Boombox is a prefabricated micro retail kiosk that combines the successful features of pop-up shops and festival booths. It provides an innovative transitional retail space at an affordable cost for budding local entrepreneurs.