A Space of Potential is an undefined fragment of the urban fabric without obvious permanent function. In The Hague we are finding them next to the canals or as large sidewalks, but you can find them everywhere in the urban environment.
By defining these spaces, we want to activate and use public space on a human, temporary scale. We feel like trespassers in our own city. We don’t know what is allowed, so we stay safe.
Public Space is what we share with strangers and therefore it connects our individual live to something bigger. As cities are becoming the environment for most of humanity, the urgency for shared space is bigger than ever. All over the world shared, non-commercial spaces are disappearing, adsorbed by private enterprises. Today making use of public space has become a political act and it is a right we should not want to give up.
Because of this urgency, besides defining those spaces, we are also looking into the regulations of public space. What is allowed in public and what not? And what are the reasons and implications of these laws?
In The Hague, the "Algemene plaatselijke verordening" regulates public order, nature and the appearance of the municipality. We are exploring and exploiting the limits and possibilities of these regulations as starting point for temporary interventions in public space. Thus we discover the unused potential of our city for self-expression, community-building and ever changing situations.
This project is a collaboration with Sarah Bovelett.

The magical cosmos is a worldview and has nothing to do with card tricks nor a wizard school. But one that facilitates the experience of meaning beyond rationality by activating the individual’s imagination. Opposite to the magical cosmos is the technical one, which according to Federico Campagna is today the dominant worldview in central Europe. Technic operates through separating and automating while magic acts by integrating and transforming. As a society we are facing highly complex challenges today. I believe what is needed to answer those challenges are imagination and the willingness to transform, qualities central to the magical cosmos. I share Campagna’s sentiment and feel a cultural imbalance towards technical thinking whose tendency to safety and stability suspends imaginative transformation.

Nature is incredibly complex and we experience it deeply. Very simplified, magic views nature as the life force which connects everything, while technic regards nature as a factor to protect against. Because it’s complexity engages our imagination and all our senses are evolved to perceive its metamorphoses, I see nature as the ideal threshold from the technical to the magical cosmos. Cities are manifestations of culture and what is present at their center is recognized as culturally important. The center of The Hague is almost exclusively commercial. It is there, the threshold must be located.

What I am proposing is a new tradition: the annual sacrifice of one building. Every year one empty or commercial building is selected and acquired by the municipality. The building is broken down, the construction materials and the ground are rearranged on site, inviting nature to take over and establish itself. The façade is the only part left behind as a porous boundary facing the street. However, it is sealed off and only after 10 years the entrance to the new ecosystem is opened to humans. This tradition is intended to last beyond a century. At first, the center will host a handful of green spaces; later on they will form connections and clusters. Until, eventually the structure of the city will transform, from one restricting nature to fragments, to a structure which interlaces the natural ecosystem.

···