Online Conference, 25-26 March 2021 | SDN Symposium
SDN Symposium
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16:00 - 17:30


Community, Placemaking, Piazza, Public-Places, Covid-19, Projecting, Commoning, Tactical-Urbanism

Like talking to a wall: Redesigning words in public space to create multicultural-interactions. A dynamic walk & active workshop.
The Don Bosco Festival took place in Bolzano, which is a bilingual city (German & Italian), but the Don Bosco neighborhood holds within it many languages. Years and
years of immigration waves have clustered small communities that differ by the tongue.

On the nights of the festival, as we enabled the chat, suddenly, all this variety of languages took hold of the public space. The different tongues filled the walls of Piazza Don Bosco, as we screened the live chat of the festival on the walls of the piazza.

For the first time, many of the neighbors could see their culture represented in the public space, that the public space was directing itself to them, they felt connected,
related to, and that was a great part of the success of the Don Bosco Festival.

In this workshop we will try to examine what interferences can be made in the public space, to make it communicate with all it's existing users. We will try to think, how the communication in the public wall can do more than inform its users, but it can catalyze interactions between them.

Workshop organizers


Participation is limited to 14. First come first serve basis.

During the workshop we will examine different communications in the public space, we will create intercultural dialogue around our discoveries, then create manipulations on them to catalyze the dialogue.

The workshop will be made of 6 parts:

1. Intro - 10 min - Meeting on the video conference call, we will have a short introduction of the topic, and a short review of Linguistic Landscape theory.

2. Dynamic Walks - 15 Min - We will go out, each outside their own place, for a 15 walk during which we will search for written communication displays in the public space, and take photos of them.

3. Choose - 5 min - Each participant will choose one photo of a sign that is significant in his opinion. It could be emotionally significant, mentally, locally, or caution-related. And they upload it as their background image.

4. Interpret - 20 Min - In pairs in breakout rooms. Participants go to the breakout room in pairs. Each participant has to decode their partner’s sign, the literal meaning, and its significance.

5. Design - 20 min - In their breakout rooms, the participants choose together one of the signs and create a bi-cultural version of it, in a way that transfers the significance of the chosen sign, but also creates communication and interest between their two cultures.

6. Discussion - 20 min - Participants will change their background to the new design they created together, and we will discuss the process and result.

  • Additionally we will suggest our participants put their creation in the public space or on social networks with the #talk_to_the_wall. That way we can document and see
    the effect of their creation.

    Participants need to have:
    • The ability to go outside
    • Camera (phone is good)
    • Piece of paper
    • Writing tools