CABINET Benjamin Vanmuysen

1 / 5
Alley View
2 / 5
Repurposed 2-Yard Dumpsters
3 / 5
Movie Screening
4 / 5
5 / 5

The Alleyway Project Ann Arbor, MI The Ann Arbor Art Center Competition: the Alleyway Project

The Alleyway Project proposal celebrates the grungy character of Ann Arbor’s alleyways while offering a flexible space to hang out, lounge and congregate. As alleys are primarily at the service of their neighboring buildings, this proposal gives these leftover spaces back to the public by transforming them into an extension of the street. By hacking familiar alley components into comfortable and functional urban furniture, this project infuses Ann Arbor’s alleys with programmatic features. Multiple repurposed 2-yard trash dumpsters are modified and amplified into mobile loungers and bleachers. The dumpster loungers are incised and their interiors finished in order to comfortably seat two people. They can be arranged in separate clusters or in one congregation to host a larger group. While the loungers foster intimate gatherings, the dumpster bleachers accommodate a collective activity, such as a movie screening or performance. These dumpsters are slightly enlarged to seat up to four people. While the events are facilitated with these modified ready-mades, the surfaces of the alley are enhanced with graphics and neon lighting. The corridor doesn’t only adopt an urban appearance, but also provides a series of specific activities. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and a long period of social isolation, this proposal offers a place to reconvene, gather and contemplate.