Posts in participatory

February 28th, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

I Just Wanted to Say

In the spirit of Andie and Halcyon’s recent posts on sharing the concept of cultivation of “playa-spirit” year-round, I wanted to share the project, “I Just Wanted To Say,” a simple and engaging project that explores creating friendlier cities through the reprogramming of public transport and public seating space.

"I Just Wanted to Say" Artist Yen Trinh

This project was developed by self proclaimed, urbanist and designer, Yen Trinh, of Brisbane, Australia, with graphic design support from Steven Rhodes, also from Brisbane. It was developed in conjunction with PLATFORM, a project devised by the Public Art Unit, Project Services. It was curated by the Museum of Brisbane and the Brisbane City Council and received financial support through art+place, the Queensland Government’s Public Art Fund.

Concept mock-up of Yen Trinh's work, with graphic design support from Steven Rhodes

Design is too often seen as a superfluous and elitist preoccupation. In this project, however, Yen moves beyond the realm of logos, posters and objects and uses design as opportunity and agent for change. This project re-imagines design concepts typically found in public transport signs as an opportunity for interaction and conversation. Namely, it takes the idea of “priority seating” and adds a unique twist.

Easily accessible seats on public transport are universal. They have traditionally been designated for elderly and disabled based on both a culture of courtesy and handicap access legislation. This project uses similar visual design to create “priority seating for people who want conversation,” helping to cultivate “a culture of friendliness.”

Excerpt from the Signage:
Conversations in public spaces present endless possibilities to build connections, create community, and just make someone’s day a bit more interesting.

What makes this project interesting — and relevant to the cultivation of Black Rock City spirit — is its call for participation: anyone can download the design and make their own priority seating for conversation.

The work is currently on view in Brisbane at the RBH Busway Station until March 2011. An adapted version was seen at the Williamburg Walks in New York last June. Where else will it be on display? Well, that is most certainly up to you.  Do you know a place that could be transformed into priority seating for conversion? I just bet you do. As the project designers say: Friendliness is contagious. Pass it on.

Download priority seating signs here.