Border Places: exploring edges of transformation

Seward neighborhood, Minneapolis

It has been said that energy is concentrated most on the borders and boundaries of human psychology. Edges are where communities touch and where conflict, growth, and learning occurs. Along edges is where we find opportunities for transformation as individuals, communities, and society.

My good friend, Alex, and I were recently talking about the shape  of our own neighborhoods in Minneapolis. We started to question: what is the play between defining self and defining self in community? How do we tell the story of our communities? Our neighborhood? Where do our lives and experiences intersect? And how do physical environments shape the interactions that weave together our stories?

Out of this conversation came Border Places –a crowd-sourced multimedia project exploring the borders between geographic space and human communities. We want to call attention to the in-between places, looking for sites of interaction and transformation, being and change.

Residential meets Commercial in Minneapolis

Residential meets commercial

Our communities are surrounded by natural and designed boundaries –boundaries that are often saturated in politics. How are our perceived community borders shaped into physical boundaries? What role do sound barriers and language borders play in creating community? As you can tell, I ask a lot of questions; I take photos to visualize them.

One of the most profound ways communities are constructed deals with the infrastructure we build in and around them. Roads, bridges, highways, schools, grocery stores –these structures and institutions shape our neighborhoods and the ways we engage our neighbors.

Through Border Places, Alex and I hope to cultivate conversation around urbanism and cultures, spaces and places –and we want that conversation to be grounded in storytelling. We’ve posted a few observations to get the project rolling…

…and here’s the part where I ask you to be involved!

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2 Responses to Border Places: exploring edges of transformation

  1. Bill Lindeke
    Bill Lindeke March 16, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    This is awesome. Jacobs' calls them "border vacuums" in her classic book.

  2. Nathaniel March 17, 2012 at 5:34 am #

    I'm loving this idea. In fact, I just bookmarked.

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