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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

MA Eco-Social Design: Project 2 by Rendy Anoh, Shiri Mahler | SS 2020

Don Bosco Festival. Moving from social distancing to social unity in physical distanc

A screening event on the walls of the piazza, projecting local content. Triggering spontaneous use of the space to revive the piazza and unite the community around it.


This concept offers to mimic the prevailing online-digital communication in the public space. By projecting local content and open-events on the walls of the piazza, we want to trigger spontaneous interaction and invite those who are not connected online to take part in the action, while still keeping the safe distance.






Four days summer screening event on the walls of Piazza Don Bosco, projecting local community-based content. This is a local event, meant for the city of Bolzano, and particularly the community of the Don Bosco area. In the days when culture and art seem to exist only in virtual spaces, and the return of a routine of activity is not yet on the horizon, we offer the projection as a safe way to celebrate culture together and unite the community.

Using culture, art, and creation as a strong communicative base we want to reunite the people of Don Bosco and create a strong sense of community and local pride.

Our proposition harnesses digital communication to send the message that people don’t have to coop up behind digital screens, they can open their windows and be together.

This minimal intervention holds the possibility to change the perception of the un-used space by the community. By using the wall as a vertical-common we give new life to the abandoned piazza, and invite the neighbours to take an active part in the local community.



This project a result of design research in Piazza Don Bosco. We launched this research as part of a collaboration with Botteghe di Cultura, a social association working in Don Bosco, Bolzano and Ufficio Politiche giovanili. Together we went on to re-think the piazza, claiming to revive it in a way that will connect the community. 

From our initial research, we realized the piazza is suffering from 3 levels of separation. At the architectural level, years of rebuilding in the area have divided the piazza into small little squares, with a main road crossing in the middle, and many buildings mazing the pedestrian stroll.

At the usability level, the little squares had different owners, with various resources to invest in shades and sitting arrangements, leaving the largest of the squares naked.

The third is at the social level. With two aspects, historically, this place is a source of social conflict, which resulted in a divided community in ages, languages, customs, and nationality. Second, a trend rising in contemporary lifestyle, the abandonment of public places, as part of a fast-paced lifestyle and the move towards online communities.

An integral part of our research was the effects of the Covid-19, that were highly impactful when working on a community-related project.


Mixing personal events with the history of the place


We aspired to examine the role of the public space under the new circumstances, to think if the Covid-19 creates new mechanisms that break the dichotomy between public and private.

We found two solid examples, the signs people posted on their private balconies, sending a message to the public that everything is going to be alright. And the use of public spaces to grow communal grading in this time of scarcity.

We wanted to use our piazza in a way that breaks this dichotomy and creates a gradient of the private and public.





Rendy Anoh, Shiri Mahler

Teaching Team:
Corinna Sy  (Object–Spaces–Services)
Kris Krois (Communication–Interaction–Services)
Jennifer Schubert (Social Interaction Design)
Secil Ugur Yavuz  (Design & Production)
Alastair Fuad-Luke (Design Research)

Botteghe di Cultura
Ufficio Politiche giovanili - Provincia autonoma di Bolzano

Supporters & Stakeholders :
Cumune di Bolzano
Alex Castellano (Presidente della Circoscrizione)
Bolzanism, Zelig
Tanz Festival
Cooperativa 19