Research organized around attempting to understand how people directly control their surrounding urban environments through personal everyday decisions such as where to dine, shop, live, and be entertained: Our team collected over 100 lengthy interviews in person from people all over the Metropolitan Phoenix area to create a primer of non-academic qualitative research on attitudes about different areas of the city and how people decide where to live. The data shows a stark difference of the way people live depending on their location in the city, and does point to a correlation between lifestyle choices and surrounding environment. However the most interesting aspect we uncovered is the lack of connection some people have to the city as a place- environmentally, socially, and culturally- when they live in the gigantic “middle” zones far from central areas and the exterior fringe.
The research is included in two publications:
1) A limited edition hand-made art-print made of five booklets and outer sleeve. The production of the books was in collaboration with Dan Mayer and John Risseeuw of the ASU Pyracantha Press. Four of the booklets have Turkish map-folds that describe the research graphically. The fifth contains the text version of the data. The books are for sale on colab studio's website.
2) As an essay within a collection of projects regarding urban planning, entitled "Retrofitting Sprawl", edited by Emily Talen. The book is available for sale internationally.
To complete the project, colab studio obtained two grants and a fundraising prize from the US Artists site.
Books have been purchased by libraries around the nation, including Yale, Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of Puget Sound, University of Washington, and University of Colorado.
(Photography by Matthew Salenger.)