sidewalk laboratory

Rotch library exhibit 2010


In Celebration of Sidewalk Life: Using Critical Cartography as a Tool for Urban Intervention
SLAB exhibited documentary photographs taken in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in January 2010 as part of data collection about the city’s rich sidewalk life. Framed photos along the wall showed some of the observations combined with excerpts from the 250 sidewalk vendors we interviewed.  Lexicon, an installation of transparent photos on tinted plexiglass tiles suspended through the mezzanine, showed the system of symbols used to communicate on the sidewalk.

Photographs from the opening


Way to capture a lot of scenes which are everyday for the Vietnamese, but which most U.S. tourists might never notice. I learned a lot from this exhibit! & Beautiful pictures, too!”

“You’ve captured the humanity – the warmth, persistence, and humility – of street commerce.”

” an unexpected portrayal of street life!”

“Great Pictures, Beautiful Stories!!”

“… I really love this project…Just what I needed.”

Special Thanks To:

Jolene Marie de Verges, Chris Dewart, Annie Gai, Jim Harrington, Jesse Kaminsky, Duncan Kincaid, Giang Le, Ricky Leiserson, Kristal Peters, Roland Tang, Joe Thomas, Yuan Xiao, Kui Xue.

This work was funded in part by M.I.T.‘s Director’s Art Fund and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning.