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the good, the bad and the ugly


The good the bad and the ugly is a poetic research on the visual identity of neighborhoods in Eindhoven affected by socio-economic disadvantages and thus labelled as 'problematic' by the municipality.


One of these neighborhoods is where I also live. Educated as an architect, over time I have become increasingly fascinated by the ways in which the spaces around us – the spaces we cross shape our identity. Being a city dweller myself in such a 'problematic' area, I began to wonder: what kind of ‘me’ have I become since moving to this side of town? Is there a way to photograph the urban ‘personality’ traits of this area, discover my own identity and the one of the people who live here as well? And besides that, is there a way to photograph the relationship between the problematic socio-economic condition of an area and its urban form? How does a ‘problematic’ urban space actually look like?


As citizens, we often deal passively with governance and urban planning because we are just not part of the decision-making process. Yet as humans, we have a remarkable talent for transforming an environment to provide everything we need. We are genetically and evolutionarily programmed to increase our chances of survival and to detect the affordance to adapt or change what surrounds us to meet our needs (J.J. Gibson, 1979). In this way, in addition to helpless victims of urban planners, developers and architects, we become ‘heroic’ protagonists and reclaim our daily spaces. Because "the city is able to metabolize no matter what fuck-up", as my teacher architect P. Desideri used to say.

By photo shooting the public liminal spaces of these neighborhoods I perhaps allow myself to release my own inner ‘hero’ – and rescue some of that pervasive spatial enforcement into some kind of wonder.

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