Faites la place!, from mid-june to mid-december 2016, Paris 19e

The PAVEX mission for the public space of the city of Paris launched tenders in the spring of 2016 in the context of the redesign of 7 public squares. For the first time the city has called on multi-disciplinary groups to analyze the uses and initiate a process of co-design and co-construction for the development/ layout of the square. Agrafmobile responded by forming the collective FAITES! with Malte Martin as graphic and space designer, YA + K architects and service designers of Plausible Possible. Very quickly the field survey led to the hypothesis that the question of revitalizing the square could not be tackled only by conventional urban development and furniture programs. The finding of an underemployed place outside the market and of the potential scatter of local actors around the square made us think of an appropriation tool in full heart of it.

Readjusting the demand

We decided to transform the container that was to be our headquarters into CAPLA (CAbanon de la PLAce, “shed of the square”) in order to make it available for local stakeholders. This construction was made in a collaborative way with the help of the refugees from the nearby Emmaüs Solidarity Home, as well as the square’s young people for the brand's painting workshops.

The second re-adjustment was accomplished upon mission’s phasing which provided for a timeout in August. Given that there was a human presence during August in this working class neighborhood as locals could not afford to leave for holidays, we run four different theme workshops with a weekly rhythm throughout the whole month.

Appropriation tools

These workshops with the participation of residents and associations resulted in several collective tools, such as a mobile kitchen with the “Mères en Place”, a mobile DJ-Booth with the youngsters, different game devices and a public bench-planter. The months of September and October confirmed this dynamic with the arrival of new local stakeholders who gradually took ownership of CAPLA.


What is a research-action between a collective of designers and the inhabitants is as much a research-action for the city’s services and elected representatives, in order to enable this public goods producer urbanism. Apart from the CAPLA, this mission has allowed us to give feedback and recommendations that can nourish future missions for further development for the entire square.

  • partenaires

    Ville de Paris, mission PAVEX, programme «Réinventons nos places», mairie du 19e arrondissement

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