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ZEBRA MACHINE
The zebra crossing is a symptom of the current state of public space. It presents how the movement of the car is prioritised over the movement of pedestrians and other users of the pavement. We have learned to perceive this situation as normal. Yet this prioritisation creates a violent and contaminating environment that obstructs liveliness in the city. To make public space truly public, it is necessary to disrupt this situation.

The Zebra Machine stretches the lines of the zebra crossing with paint based on chalk. The universally known signal of the white stripes, covering the whole street, invites everyone to go their way. The street becomes a shared, and therefore a safer and more inclusive space.

Zebra Machine is my graduation project from the Willem de Kooning Academy. My aim is to draw many more zebra crossings and stimulate change in the public space.
foto public intervention
2021
about me
URBAN DESIGN
MOBILITY
RESEARCH
I spend hours following inhabitants of Rotterdam on their tour through public space. I followed them through their own neighbourhood with a camera and observed. Later, I asked these users of the pavement to draw a mental map. The tool of mental mapping works great to expose the experience of public space beyond its geographical aspects and routines. Although the appearance of the public space is common to us and we have learned to perceive it as normal, we still experience major stress, however less obvious. These moments of hinder are habitual, but not harmless.



Many zebra crossings were drawn on these mental maps. And with that, the zebra crossing became the symbol of my project. Although they seem to provide a friendly option for the users of the pavement to cross. In practice they are limiting. People have to change their direction, make detours, wait for vehicles to stop while hearing loud engine sounds of fast passing cars and being toxicated by their emissions. And their ability to cross the street safely depends on the attentiveness of the vehicle drivers.



CLICK HERE TO WATCH
THE VIDEO OF THE ZEBRA MACHINE IN ACTION
zebra machine in action
birds view photo of zebra crossing
peak into the research
metal maps of two participants
birds view photo of zebra crossing