Combining Polaroid photography and texts in English and Arabic, this book presents creative practices of design that occur on the sidewalk along with the unplanned interventions in the public space that give Cairo its distinctive character.
Organized in two sections – walks and series–, the book gives the reader a glimpse into our method of urban empiricism and our journeys on foot through the city, in which we documented street chairs by indexing on maps the locations of the seats photographed. The series sections reveal common formal characteristics of street chairs, while shedding a light on multiple techniques of recycling and redesign that people use to repair and improve their seats. Some of those series group together particular types of seats like armchairs and sofas, or curious pairs of twin chairs also found regularly on the pavement. Other sequences focus on the life cycle of chairs, showing different phases of their decay—from their amputations to their final collapse—or the miracle of their recovery with the help of various prostheses.