July 1, 2003

Paris / France / May-June 2003


The RAB is the first of Exyzt’s architectural experimentation on urban reality. Going against all ideas of designed and controlled public space, the newly-born collective wanted to proove that everbody can bring informal urban spaces back into the city. These spaces, forgotten by urban planning, are the base of a democraty, that allows freedom of expression and exchange.

Where can you find a space in the city that could shelter such a project? Exyzt selected a certain type of urban space, which they defined as a RAB. The RAB is a leftover space, urban planning, and which is unusable for real estate transaction.

Here follows the manual of such a creation step by step.

1.Choose a RAB

Exyzt temporarily occupied a RAB forgotten by the construction of the Parc de la Villette. Situated on the verge of a modest neighborhood, it was, though its poor state, well situated. The criterias of selection included good sun exposure and visibility. Optionally, you can include the presence of a ad structure, vegetation and water.

2. Occupy the RAB

Occupying induces opening the enclosure, as to reintroduce the RAB in the public space, cleaning up, and reintroduce it to an human occupation. Such a physical occupation done, human contact with the autochtons should be established as to make the neighboorhood familiar with the RAB.

3. Play games

The five to be architects settled in the site with a Mecanoo like kit, contenaining a certain amount of scaffolding, textiles and lights. Thus equiped, they constructed a structure that could unfold, extend, and generally suffer changes as to answer to either planned or spontaneous events.

4. Public aknowledgement

Such an adventure should ask for an official recognition, as to establish the RAB as part of urban activities. In this case, Exyzt presented their experimentation as their final school project in front of all of those who took part of this adventure.

5. Transmission of the RAB

We hope our experience will make people want to occupy their own RAB. We left ours, but transmitted it to the Parenthèse association, created for the occasion by people of the neighborhood. Keep it an informal. Keep it joyful.