Yasser Elsheshtawy, 2013, Mapping behind Marks and Spencers and Airport Road
This is a research project undertaken by Professor Elsheshtawy for New York University, to discover how migrant communities inhabit formal city spaces. He used architectural plans, motion capture photography and video to record an urban space over a period of time. Abu Dhabi seems car-centric with 6 lane highways and 10 inch kerbs, but behind the skyscrapers, life goes on. The study shows the Bangladeshi community congregating around a supermarket hub and a single tree in the middle of the square. They are one of the poorer communities and so don't frequent the shopping malls. Elsheshtawy's work examines the way this community circumvents city planning and make the space their own. He coined the term 'transcienceis' to describe this phenomenon (Elsheshtawy, 2008). His blog Dubaization records the process of his research both here and in Dubai.