In cities, people and place mix seamlessly, as inhabitants interact both with each other and the locations where they live, work or play. These “people and place transactions” are relationships worthy of further study as visual manifestations of organic urban life.
In this context, “employment” in the modern sense gives way to a range of underlying roles, such as observer, thinker, vendor or helper. Sometimes alone and forlorn, sometimes passive, inquisitive and in motion, such roles define the day-to-day urban landscape.
The images below present selected examples compiled over a recent three-hour period. No matter what the currency and measure of profit, each has worth in depicting the vernacular. Surely in our own contexts, most of us have played these illustrated roles of contemplation, education, shopkeeping—even feeding pigeons—at the intersection of the public and private domains.
Accordingly, in the changing city, shouldn’t we better design for who we really are?
All images composed by the author. Click on each image for more detail.