Instead of the individual adapting to the environment,in this case the urban context, it is the urban context that is asked to redraw itself relationally — this is an adaptation of the context, not to it.1
Adaptive Actions based in Montreal and initiated in London in 2007 by Jean-François Prost explores alterations in the workplace, the home and public spaces in general. Identifying the variety of these personal and found alterations in the city as different forms of adaptation creates a vocabulary for the expression of the collective imagination, through the existing urban structures therein. These ‘actions’ modify and activate the intended use of architecture and enhance the character of urban environments. They create positive tensions that test the limits of tolerated appropriation. Can these simple actions, images and ideas, such as the hybridisation of conventional and unusual urban realities, infiltrate our collective imagination to promote feelings of identity and a sense of cultural belonging?
Adaptive Actions points to how urban phenomena impact on residents’ perception of the environment and their relation to it. By offering a space to share experiences, ideas, forms of actions and specific accomplishments, Adaptive Actions creates an inventory of alterations rarely visible to the public. Printed documents and organised events are being planned to increase visibility of the selected actions to the public eye, and build affiliations and communal thinking.
1Action Fragments for the City – Interview Brian Massumi, Adaptive Actions – Madrid, AA publications, 2010-11