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Desire lanes, game trails, elephant paths.
All different words for shortcuts where the grass is flattened by the animals or people who take the shortest route to their destination. In cities, shared space becomes more common, roadways blend into bike paths and traffic crossings merge together with pedestrian areas. 


This concept is based on the urge of people to take the shortest route.
When is a desire lane created? Is it only when the grass is flattened that people tend to use that path more often until a path actually forms? Or is the path created by like minded people? 

If you walk through a city, especially early in the morning or late at night, you don’t see what happened right before you arrived. The public space might seem empty, but what would its energy be like if that biker which just passed by left a trace. What if you could see earlier interactions on that shared space? Could it make you feel safer? Would you interact with the line that is traced behind you?


The research for this concept lead to the question ‘what if you could see the past “energy” of a space?’ What if an interaction between two people was still visible ten minutes after it took place? What about that bike that cut the corner?

With Desire Lanes we want to show the magic of a square and provoke interactions at the same time. Because let’s be honest, in a world that becomes more and more individual it might be nice to have some unexpected interactions with a stranger.


We recently got funded by Gemeente Utrecht, Creative Industries Funds & Cultuur Innovatiefonds Provincie Utrecht to proceed our research for Desire Lanes and take it to another level!


We are looking for test audience / focus groups to help us during our research. Are you willing to help us by participating in a number of tests and talks about the project? We provide food & drinks.

Sign up by clicking the button below or send an email saying 'Yes, I want to help!' to

Please note: By sending an email you are not committing to anything. For now we just want to know if you would be interested in helping.


Big thanks and credits to:


Stichting SETUP | Stichting Oneseconds | Nathan Marcus | Jildou Fabriek 

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Desire Lanes Funded by Creative Industries Funds, Gemeente Utrecht & Cultuur Innovatiefonds Provincie Utrecht

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