Project: Walking & Thinking

MoDA staff Ana Baeza Ruiz and Zoe Hendon have recently started to work with Middlesex colleagues Alberto Duman, Rebecca Bell and Peter Thomas, to think about walking as a mode of practice.

In particular, the walk from Middlesex University‘s Hendon campus to the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture offers rich opportunities to think about the changing landscape of suburbia, and the relationship between green spaces and the built environment.

We’re also interested in the idea that walking can help with thinking – how might taking a different route help prompt students to put pen to paper in a different way? And how can students record this through writing, visual imaging and other forms of sensory exploration? We are particularly interested in exploring the following themes:

  • Practices of ‘walking’, ‘thinking’ and ‘recording’ as forms of creative expression.
  • Suburbia: history of suburbia, speculation and changes to the cityscape.
  • Urban ecology: green corridors and the impact of new construction on the landscape. What is the significance of green spaces and how is this changing over time?
  • Urban archaeology: Liminal and peripheral spaces non-spaces.
  • Land ownership: public vs private space; public rights of way.
  • Urban decline and deprivation: housing, waste disposal, social services, disinvestment.
  • Notions of the ‘home’ and lived experience of place.

Our first walk took place in early May 2019, and recording it in photographs helped us develop new senses of the space around us.  We intend to explore the idea of walking and thinking both individually and with groups of students in the coming months.