Anakana Schofield – Award Winning Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

On the topic of public space it occurred to me that a hospital emergency room is also public space, occupied religiously by the pubic and having the public move through it. Yet for all our public space the main hospital ER in the city really is quite a squashed affair. I was watching the staff squeeze by each other, share screens and make ample use of that space all night, but why is it contracted into such tightness?

There’s a house in the neighbourhood significantly smaller than those around it, it sits rather like a dolls house between and below the gutters of its neighbours. It’s a dotey affair. It struck me as kind of ridiculous that people inhabit these much bigger houses when the doll’s house would meet most peoples needs. Yet housing as a private enterprise is so concerned with expansion, tax breaks for renovation, add another layer, extend, expand, rather unsustainable as an urban model.

Due to some restrictions they faced, friends built their dwelling around a series of garden sheds. (The walls were enhanced for insulation with a sheet of plastic, thick wadge of polystyrene, another sheet of plastic and plywood) When you are inside you’d have no idea they are sheds, it’s only when step away up the garden that you can see they are simply garden sheds.  I don’t know if they’d stand a hundred years, but were cosy and adequate.

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