Townhouse is about to close its month-long exhibit “Model Citizens,” in which a team of a dozen artists (working from over 10,000 photos of Townhouse’s neighborhood) created an extremely detailed miniature model of the neighborhood. After eight months, thirty citizens who live/ work in the neighborhood were interviewed on stories of the neighborhood’s history and what they would like it to look like.
Changes have been made according to these people’s wishes. The idea itself–to propose an alternative vision for the future of the neighborhood other than what the government would choose–has allowed all of its viewers to appreciate the intricate details of their surroundings as well as challenged us to imagine this neighborhood in a way that we like to see it look.
As I live in this neighborhood, and have for over a year, I was quite excited to see what changes locals wanted. The responses were certainly mixed. First, there are some practical things. As it is an automotive district, one person suggested a clinic next to Townhouse for injured mechanics. There were other suggestions of more garbage cans and more plants. One person even suggested putting a football field in part of the palace/ former school.
Then, there were other suggestions. A KFC next to the Tekeeba ahwa was one that disturbed me… Other suggestions were metal detectors, security and cameras in front of the palace. It’s kind of ironic though, right? That you would give people the change to imagine a better neighborhood, and what do we get? A medical clinic, a KFC and metal detectors?