An approach to designing passive devices for control of unsteady flows is presented. The method requires only snapshots of the flow to be controlled as inputs. A temporal correlation based on proper orthogonal decomposition of both fluctuating velocity and nonlinear forcing serves to identify the spatial locations in which the forcing drives the different unsteady flow features. The installation of a passive device in these spatial locations inhibits the fluctuating motion. The potential of the methodology is demonstrated via the suppression of vortex shedding in flow past a square cylinder, paving the way to the control of more complex flows using passive devices. Connections in agreement with previous studies targeting the same flow using different passive flow control strategies are provided.