New Thresholds

Luciana Varkulja analyzes spatial strategies that small businesses use to reduce health risks.

Shifting Ground was an open call for visual reports about how the events of 2020 and 2021 reconfigured our relationship with both public and private space. Select entries were posted on the League’s Instagram account.

Los Angeles–based designer Luciana Varkulja sent a report from her hometown of São Paulo, where she traveled during the pandemic.

She wrote:

When cities in Brazil declared lockdown, small business owners had to quickly find a way to provide a safe boundary between customers and the staff members serving them. They created a new relationship with the sidewalk, shaped by objects carefully curated and distributed in order to reconfigure the threshold of interaction. This led to some level of separation between the parties, but still allowed customers to feel like part of the space.

Representing the assembly process like a playful kit of parts, similar to an Ikea catalog, this research aims to document the informal solutions people in cities have created during the pandemic to provide new permeable walls.


Luciana Varkulja

(@lvarkulja) is a Brazilian architect and urban designer based in Los Angeles.


A serpentine science

Bryan Maddock writes about the work of Brazilian architect Affonso Eduardo Reidy.

The Deborah J. Norden Fund Essay 2016