Category Archives: researchSPACE

empty plates


– a solidarity and awareness campaign for all inhabitants of Johannesburg

We all want a save and clean environment but not at the cost of humanity and respect for our fellow inhabitants, neighbours, sisters, brothers, friends and family.
The idea of the EMPTY PLATE derives from the evicted traders of the streets of Johannesburg as a sign of solidarity and the demand for an inclusive city.

As a common object for the presentation of goods in the streets – mainly fruits and vegetables neatly sorted into packages, the EMPTY PLATE symbolizes
– the absents of traders in public as well as
– the empty plates at homes as a result of lost income generation and affordable food.
Only a fraction of (formalized) traders are able to go back to business thanks to the Constitutional Court Order.

The EMTPY PLATE further stands against the brutality and despotism of the executive arm during the campaign and for a respectful cooperation and togetherness – no matter of origin, social background or financial means.
The awareness campaign is driven by the demand for a more inclusive and holistic approach for positive change in Johannesburg.
For the acceptance and appreciation of different livelihoods, lifeworlds and diversity.

Join the campaign by showing your solidarity for street traders and support the demand for an inclusive city and governance.

Paste an EMPTY PLATE in public!
Hang it from your window, place it in your shop-window or business, put it in your car, fix it on a pole, hang it on your fence… – show everybody that you do care!
Support your fellow inhabitants by buying an EMPTY PLATE for 50 ZAR from us!

This campaign by concerned citizens and individuals is collaborating with the HEI Café in Braamfontein, which is supporting the Hillbrow Entrepreneurship Initiative that helps homeless people pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

Through this partnership people of different backgrounds will be involved and benefit, from the first step of creating awareness and spreading the message.
The next steps will include further support for a sustainable initiatives through crowd-funding and creative workshops.



park(ing)Day Johannesburg

Park(ing) Day – Johannesburg 2013 was the first approach to provide temporary public open space and to join the global debate from a “World Class African City” – perspective.

Creative Team : Blanca Calvo, Io Makandal, Sumayya Vally, Marlene  Wagner

supported by :, 1:1 – Agency of Engagement

To see all participants and activities CHECK OUT:




 The collective creation of space – in the form of benches and chairs to give people a reason to pause, linger and loiter !

In a DIY approach the public space is transformed into a workshop space and the active participation at the same time a gift to everyone ! The collective action creates a different space and exchange between participants not necessarily through talking as communication. Further aspect is the sustainability of these event-like intervention – to leave something behind, a layer of memory and time.



In groups participants choose out of a huge catalogue of activites and produce their own stencil. While cutting informal discussion about activities in public encourage exchange. In the next step they choose an actual location in public space. The most wanted public activity at diverse spots around corner Juta/De Beer: public braai(ing) ! (local for BBQ)

Other chosen activities: public playgrounds, public hiking, public massage, public trading, public hairsalon, public sex, public music


Which activities gernerate which audience? Who is participating in which activities? What objects in public are percieved in what way and by whom? For example the set up of a “give-away” vegetable market immediately created discussion with and participation of a different usergroup. It referred to other spaces in the city and enforced debates around the topic of streed trade.


photcredit: Blanca Calvo, Io Makandal Schiess