Syracuse, NY, USA


Martin Hättasch (in collaboration with Ted Brown and George Little)

The urban rest stop proposes a “kit of parts” to be a temporary oasis for citizens, visitors and passersby. Common objects and a simple palette of materials occupy the site to promote a range of activities and social exchange. In response to their needs, wants and desires, visitors can rearrange the pieces. “Urban rest” becomes new forms of urban recreation: camping, grilling, watching a flick, playing volleyball, grabbing a bite or just lying on the beach. Paint, fabric and tape divide the site into different and overlapping figures of activity. It is a place of fun and novelty, a place of difference – called an oasis – a fertile spot in the city.

The elements proposed are ubiquitous - but enigmatic in their repetition, juxtaposition, and urban context. In any season, the beach with sand, umbrellas, flora and fauna provide the perfect setting for an urban pause. Sails of cotton fabric on the underbelly of the highway become the screen for urban video. The field of micro tents become light beacons after dark. Highway paint, Glo-paint and court tape construct the fields and figures across the full site. String lights provide a flicker while LED motion activated lights rapidly record occupation. Synthetic turf lets you sit on the (small patch of) lawn in any season – an oasis. The “kit of parts” can be stored off site and recomposed on this, or any other site in the city.