PLAYING THE BENCH
Wood, Found & Made Musical Instruments
By Yuchen Zhang, Melanie Bossert & Annelie Koller
“If you develop an ear for sounds that are musical it is like developing an ego. You begin to refuse sounds that are not musical and that way cut yourself off from a good deal of experience.” ― John Cage
Public spaces were always a place where people could appreciate and interact with their surroundings. Parks, public transport nodes and sidewalks were supplied with urban furniture and fittings such as benches, grass, lighting, paving and play parks to encourage the use of these spaces. After spending time observing the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park with all the amenities mentioned above. We noticed that people’s awareness of their surroundings, and the social interaction that goes with this, was being replaced by small screen. People would not communicate or even look at each other although they spent up to 20 minutes together while sitting next to each other or waiting for the ferry.
We wanted to create an intervention that got people to interact with their surroundings and stop and play. The primary agent for interaction in a public park is the park bench. So with this in mind we started finding ways in which we could use a park bench to encourage interaction.
Furthermore we wanted to investigate sound as means to encourage interaction, as this is an area that is less explored in public setting and in a digital world.