NO! I DON’T WANT TO TAKE AN UBER, I WANT TO BE A STREET HUNTER. [FEMME] URBAN EXPLORER is an attempt to manifest and to spread the female wandering, the way that we experience the city, and our perceptions of it. With the final aim to increase empathy and awareness about our experiences, which never make front page news. They are not rapes nor robberies that get considered in a newspaper, but uncomfortable and stressful situations that we face in our daily lives.
Most cities have been designed by white men for white men, leading to the creation of gendered environments, which predominantly suit the man and heteronormative family’s needs. One can easily argue that the figure of female wanderer was excluded as a reference for urban planning. In this case, invisibility was the issue; we were “othered” along history, our voices and desires forgotten in the architecture and design of the city. We were seen as secondary characters, passive agents rather engaged subjects.
Nowadays, in our daily life, we, as women, confront unwanted experiences or encounters; Rebecca Solnit (1) says that a woman’s walk can often be considered a performance rather than a mode of transport. Becoming more visible than ever. We can find in the (female) act of walking that there is certainly a desire to blend into the surroundings, to be imperceptible. Sylvia Path (2) wrote ‘—to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording’
An understanding of the duality of the word invisibility is key in clarifying the previous two paragraphs. On one hand, we have the invisibility/ othering in the design of the cities, the plan of the public space because there is a lack of women representation. On the other hand, there is invisibility in its physical aspect, the ability to blend within the environment.
The relationship of the gap between gender and interaction with the city can be seen with the term flâneur, this word just refers to the white upper-middle class men, because they were the ones with the privilege to walk alone, with the time and the economic resources to spend their days observing and analysing the society in the streets. Subsequently, going with the idea of gender equality, the word flâneuse has been proposed with the purpose of including women and making us visible in the actions of wandering and observing.
[FEMME] STREET HUNTER—the design resolution—is an interactive video game, as the final medium supports my research and allows me to achieve the objective of reaching a wider audience. It shows different spaces based on women’s experiences, which leads to the creation of a [femme] city, and as long as you are wandering inside it, a poetic voice is narrating stories, feelings beyond every spot.
The methodology to gather the experiences was through a survey to 20-30 years old women, they were asking the following questions:
1_Could you tell me about a personal experience in the city?
2_In a few words (it could be just one) a feeling or emotion in that moment.
3_Could you describe the space, more focus on the architecture and urban plan around you?
4_What time of the day was it?
With the answers gathered Cristina Rosique gave life to an interactive game. The space has been designed following the experience of anonymous players. Beyond those digital spaces and poetic voices, the stories told are real, real women faced those situations.
FEELING LIKE A HUNTER,
AN URBAN HUNTER.
IGNORANCE OF WHAT’S ABOVE.
MASSIVE AND CRAMPED,
AN INORGANIC AND ARTIFICIAL JUNGLE,
ONE SPOT GRABS MY ATTENTION.
IT IS TRYING TO BREATHE.
THE SOUND OF WATER,
THE RIVERSIDE ON MY LEFT.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION SIGNS
ON MY RIGHT.
SURREAL SPACES AND
ON CONSTRUCTION SITE HOARDING
SURROUNDED BY THE FUTURISTIC