Umbrailing

umbrailing.jpg

Spatial repurposing/capitalization – the path on an elevated footbridge over a bustling downtown street has been co-opted by a glasses seller. Through some creative use of plastic rope and umbrellas he has made the railing into a productive, comfort-affording element of his environment.

The value of the railing on this overpass has been increased. A railing by itself has little utility to the average pedestrian besides preventing them from falling off of the overpass and allowing them to do some good leaning and reflection upon traffic patterns (don’t get
me wrong, these are important functions, too). However, this glasses seller has, by seeing the railing as a means of allowing himself to set up shop there, enhanced the value of the railing (and the wider overpass) to pedestrians while rendering one of the main functions of the railing (a means of keeping people from falling off the overpass) superfluous. He saw a railing as more, so now others may see more.

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