“Do you want to play with the other side?” - “No!”
“Would you play with them if the fence wasn’t there?” - “Probably.”

Other Side takes place at two elementary schools in Schaerbeek, a diverse neighbourhood in Europe’s capital, Brussels. The two schools share an entrance and a schoolyard, both teach in Dutch, but one school is attended by Belgian children and the other one by immigrant children. The children of both schools are separated by walls and fences, leaving no point of interaction other than through the fence that splits the schoolyard.

Other Side consists of different design interventions at the fence, which are based on the outcomes of different research, user studies and workshops. This turned it into an interface, a common ground, instead of a barrier.

The images of the playing children were used in a picture exhibition on the shared entrance to open the eyes of the parents to the absurdity of the situation. As a result of the exhibition, I asked parents, children and teachers to write their thoughts, ideas and wishes on big wooden boxes. The boxes will stay in the shared entrance as a seating area or playground, bust most importantly, as an obstacle that forms a constant reminder of the segregation.
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