Feeling at Home in Public

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Clever and charming ways of reclaiming public spaces are getting Penangites to go out into the open again.

Some 120 colourfully decorated, freestanding yellow chairs were scattered around the George Town heritage zone last August. A month-long social experiment organised by local think-tank Penang Institute and jointly supported by Hin Bus Depot and Narrow Marrow to tie in with George Town Festival, “Chairs” attempts to reverse burgeoning development on the island by democratising public spaces within George Town. Locals and tourists alike were encouraged to move and rearrange the chairs around the heritage zone to “create a public realm of their own” that doubles in identifying new public spaces as well.


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