sidewalk laboratory


NOTE:  SLAB has moved to USC.  You can see our latest research here.

SLAB’s research involves finding ways to notice what is usually overlooked and taken for granted. We believe this requires time in the field, critical thinking about our own blinders, and a creative arsenal of methods adapted to local places. Our first season of work deciphering Ho Chi Minh City’s sidewalk life has led us to develop a type of spatial ethnography, informed by history and public discourse. Below we describe some of our activities and findings.

Book forthcoming in 2015:
Sidewalk City: Re-Mapping Public Space in Ho Chi Minh City
(University of Chicago Press)


street vendor interviews






physical survey






policy analysis







historical records






tourism study