After a conservative bedtime of 2:30AM this morning, my morning has so far been more positive for my Major Project than the whole of last week combined. Like they do, an exciting concept that combined a few elements of my existing ideas, popped into being sometime between leaving the house and running to the bus stop. I had enough time to draw some rough layouts and scales, which might tell you enough to realise that once again, my subconscious has returned me to experiential design.
(If it screams any louder I’m going to start going deaf from the inside out.)
As it stands at the moment, my idea comprises of a combination of organic and unorganic elements that are placed in a city centre/space to provide not only visual relief, but promote the benefits of nature in built up spaces. Currently I do not know enough detail about these benefits to convince the passerby, but I am aware of the availability of oxygenation statistics as well as the already proven link between natural space and mental relaxation (here especially useful in terms of the latter). I hope this information can be presented in the form of short facts and statistics, through brief extracts of type across the installation.
The rest of this post will contain a lot of text, turn back now ye of weak constitutions!One of the most striking features of this set would be the installation of a long, very high backed camomile bench with the reverse side of the seating becoming the canvas for a unique method of displaying text information. This method of display would rely on a grid of cut-out sections (a little like a stencil) being removed as appropriate to form letters or shapes, to allow greenery to be seen underneath. These shapes and text would appear to be made of the greenery, with the benefit of being able to change message content without disrupting plant-life.
(But I know I’m not explaining this very well, and shall soon scan in some better diagrams that my hasty scratchings would be able to illustrate.)
Additional informative text will be displayed across the floor space in front of the bench seating. This would be simple, clear facts with a web address for follow up information or immediate access for those with mobile internet access.
To accompany this bench and text, an additional layer of sensory stimulation would possibly be included to display a bed of unusual combinations of plants such a spiky, soft, large and small. This would compliment the nature of the installation itself as well as demonstrating the positive impact that increased organic matter in cities would create. It will also provide something beautiful to look at from the bench, across the floor based text.
During the course of the discussion with my tutor we also touched on the:
– Possibility of using water vapour/misting sprays for ambience. Will catch in the breeze and cool, as well as take advantage of existing arrangements for hydration of surrounding matter.
– Using sound to transport participants from their surroundings as much as possible. Perhaps birdsong through speakers high on the side of the bench?
– Social networking: reminders to sign in with Facebook and FourSquare. Promoting to a wider audience as well as possibility to encourage uploading of phone camera pictures onto networks.
– Possibility to become a wifi hotspot, encouraging visitors to spend time there and get maximum benefits of the space (and encourage website visits). Also encourage visitors from the locality (office workers, residents etc) to return
– Possibility for the bench to move on, with the plant bed remaining. Opportunity for locals or councils to caretake, by buying off the company/campaign after installation duration has ended.
– Signposts or markers in the near vicinity to direct to installation PLUS nearest park space. Encourage people to make the most of the green spaces that do exist, general function as wayfinding in addition to piquing passerby curiosity in installation.
– Having the installation staffed on busy days/weekends to promote campaign/company, take care of planting, monitor attendees and hand out information/take-aways
SO. As I see it at the moment… In what might be the right order of how to tackle them:
The dreaded list of things to do –
1. Sketch out current plan and layout for experience
2. Create typeface for bench back
3. Create identity for fictional company/campaign – type, logo, name: everything needed to be applied to promo material and website.
4. Think about possible formats for take-away information ie. leaflets, balloons, printed hats or bags (think sun safe if promoting outdoor activities!!!)
5. Do some research and find those elusive statistics