Invisible borders (project proposal)

For this idea I looked into the concepts of ‘creating your own border’ and ‘staying in your confort zone’, resulting to refuse to see in the other side of the road how people are living or even your closest neighbour ?

This observation started with the living lab project, where the two cycle paths going through Inverleith divide the neighbourhood into three different parts. This division coincides with the level of deprivation of the area, resulting in the path acting like a border within the community (see picture bellow). The journalist Anna Minton, claims that divisions in the cities are a key factor behind rising fear of crime and that the link between security and discrimination is most distinct at the extremes of ‘the social spectrum’, in very wealthy or very deprived areas. (2009, pp. 139-140 – Minton, A. (2009). Ground control. London: Penguin Group).


map copy


My feeling is that it is very easy to stay on a routine, ‘bury ours head in the sand’. It allows us to not called into question our behaviours and the impact of our actions in the society.
I believe that developing empathie, be open to others would help to create a better word. Experience, relate and understand others could help to be more open on the world surrounding us (on different scale) and try to ‘be in the shoes of someone else’. In a sense brake the borders we create.
That is why I had this idea to visualise the invisible borders within the city. Where are these streets which divide a ‘healthy’ neighbourhood to a ‘deprive’ one. How can you make people aware of these ‘invisible’ borders ? And by visualising them, could it help to awake about these disparities. Also, are people from one side of the road go to the other side or are they staying within their territory ?


borders edinburgh3
Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 18.16.41
borders edinburgh2
borders edinburgh

I fist superposed the deprived scale map of Edinburgh on a satellite screen shot of the same territory. Then I traced in top, the road which separated two area with very different colours (a healthy area to a more deprive one).

It gives a different vision of the town. When you see the maps with the colours, you see the territories. When you only have the lines, to is about seeing the borders, and make reflect on the fact to ‘cross borders’, ‘walk in the territory of someone else’, ‘being curious of what is happening in the other side of the road’.

The final step was to convert these lines into ‘cloud’ or smoke, in order to make the borders visible but also fog and mist blur boundaries.

I made an image, trying to represent how it would look like.

smoke border