Politics Protest and Place:
The Role of Inclusive Urbanism in Civic Activism
The Mirror-WallProposal by Zhu Wenyi, Jiang Yaobeilong, Lee Min Hui, and Huai Zeyu
When demonstrations or protests take over city streets, traffic disruption is common and traffic control a necessary response. Lanes occupied by people mean vehicles are diverted into surrounding neighborhoods, which can paralyze them with rippling effects across the city. This approach is passive and does not effectively solve the problem.
So, how can these activities coexist with everyday traffic operations?
The Mirror-Wall is a marching artifact
The Mirror-Wall, a temporary installation, would occupy the middle of streets to allow acts of demonstration on one side and vehicular traffic on the other. On the side of the wall facing the people, reflective glass creates the illusion of a traditional street while at the same time enhancing the experience. On the opposite side, the structure can used as advertising, solving any issues of funding. It can also be used as an interactive interface if the area is occupied by pedestrian rather than vehicular traffic.
View looking south toward the White House with the Mirror-Wall at the center of 16th Street NW
The wall is made by joining 10-foot-high by 20-foot-wide modular units—each assembled with three vertical mirrors—on wheels and is flexible to accommodate varying protest conditions and required lengths. The mirrored surface is fully reflective and made of polycarbonate sheets formulated for high impact resistance. The wall’s design is simple, lightweight, robust, and bulletproof. It is also easy to assemble and disassemble, making it a “marching artifact.”
The Mirror-Wall is a device for reflecting, expressing, and advertising
The Mirror-Wall, as a device for communication, focuses on the inclusiveness and flexibility of the urban space while reinforcing the significance of the act of demonstrating.
All photos courtesy of Zhu Wenyi, Jiang Yaobeilong, Lee Min Hui, and Huai Zeyu
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