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life in a cardboard city
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Building a city together :: In one night


Our setting: NOCTURNE Art at Night Festival, Halifax’s response to Nuit Blanche.

700 people gathered over a huge map with heaps of recycled cardboard to collaboratively build Halifax as it is, as it was or as they want it to be. Cardboard City offered a safe space for people to collaboratively create art and express their ideas – with a simple, everyday material.

Participants were invited to play, experience, imagine and CONSTRUCT their ideas – empowering people to realize they can make change in their communities .. and in larger systems.

The map became an interactive dialogue for people’s critiques and dreams. It felt like a human-size chess board of city making. Most impressive was the patience and dedication of groups of individuals who spent hours assembling their vision and placing it on the board while people watched, commented, and built around it. Participants begged “Can this happen every week?”.  The feeling in the air was poignant and clear – change begins with play!