Who Is This For: art installation and online experience


July 18, 2023



A provocation to the design industry

Millions of people experience cities as spaces of alienation because of poor choices made by designers. Who Is This For, an art installation and online experience by hcma, aims to replicate the discomfort, alienation, and frustration felt by those who cannot access or fully participate in public spaces.

A scaled composite of eleven global city grids are stitched together to form one urban commons. Each grid, from São Paulo to Mumbai, represents a specific manifestation of inequalities in the urban realm—and for some, a moment of organic hope. Through this piece, we seek to challenge designers to take responsibility for their work, and be part of an inclusive solution to this global problem.

Made possible by the extensive efforts of the hcma team, Who Is This For was installed at Time Space Existence, a biennial group exhibition presented by the European Cultural Centre in Venice, Italy.

The microsite,, extends the impact of the installation and contributes to a global conversation about the need to design the world around us differently. Built in accordance with WCAG Internet accessibility guidelines, the site's interactive elements, including soundscapes and redacted images, highlight spaces of exclusionary design.

Who Is This For is an expression of our longstanding commitment to designing inclusive spaces. Our interdisciplinary approach is key to that commitment. We know that, in the past, our work has been part of the problem. Today, however, we are dedicated to being part of the solution.

Explore the Who Is This For urban commons first-hand. Click through the microsite to learn more about each city grid and the issues they examine. And stay tuned—this is just the beginning.

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