The Scenes Project is an international effort to examine the cultural dimensions of cities and communities. This site provides an overview of ongoing research from many collaborators.
Setting the Scene
A group waves their hands across a storefront window as motion-sensing devices play music to their movements. Down the street, a few dozen enthusiasts have an impromptu outdoor paint fight. Upstairs in a dive bar pool hall, droning electronica plays amid flashing lights while people with brightly colored hair and tattoo-covered arms eat vegan food.
These increasingly familiar scenes of indie art, cafes, and electronic music are not the only ones. In bucolic Ave Maria, Florida, all roads lead to a central cathedral and the coffee shop TV is tuned to Mass. The Village, near Vallejo, California, transforms scenes from the paintings of Thomas Kinkade into an urban aesthetic promising “calm, not chaos. Peace, not pressure.” Celebration, Florida, evinces a Disney Heaven of safety and cleanliness. Scenes like these, and many others, are part of our everyday social environment. They factor into crucial decisions, about where to work, where to open a business, where to found a political activist group, where to live, what political causes to support, and more. How, why, and how much? The Scenes Project aims to develop tools for thinking about these questions, and some answers.