Pennyslvania State University

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The Secret Life of Public Spaces

Center for the Performing Arts, Pennsylvania State University

The Secret Life of Pubic Spaces from Jerry Sawyer on Vimeo.

Project Summary

The Secret Life of Public Spaces proposes that a rediscovery of movement (people), topography (surfaces), and devices (objects), based on inquiry and performance will reveal and recast the everyday dynamics of public spaces. Student performances will build on the interplay of movement and devices. Their explorations of community and campus spaces will introduce a third element – topography – and bring active topography to the theater stage.

The collaboration between the student/faculty team and Diavolo will result in two unique dance works. Coursework developed and team-taught by faculty in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Dance will be offered over two semesters for development of the project, including the choreographic work, the exploration of local public spaces, and the design and fabrication of a structure to be utilized in the student dance piece. The planned course title will be A&A 497A, Special Topics Secret Life of Public Spaces Diavolo IdeaLab. The course description reads, “An open course attached to the Creative Campus/Diavolo project. This course is a research and studio based inquiry that begins with an examination of pedestrian movement and patterns across campus. In response, students will collaboratively design and choreograph dance works, performance spaces, surfaces, and machines.”

The Secret Life of Public Spaces will occur in public spaces: University Park’s HUB Plaza and the Arboretum at Penn State, both highly utilized pedestrian areas. Student performances will build on the interplay of movement and devices—a central theme of Diavolo’s work. Their explorations of community and campus spaces will introduce a third element – topography – and inspire Diavolo to bring active topography to the theater stage.

Summary | Partnerships | Lessons Learned | Sustainability | Resource Materials | Contact Information >> View All Creative Campus Projects

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