Because we spend our time working so closely with members of the public, we tend to find out how people really feel about their streets, cities and public spaces- it is not always positive. This inspires us to invent ways to empower people to improve their own experience.
Our inventions to date focus on animating and reimagining urban streets, encouraging people to connect better with the location and other people around them. We want to make it easy for people to use art to make life better.
#CHUMBRELLA – www.chumbrella.org
#chumbrella is a social tool, a pop up shared space which promotes connectivity with people who share our streets. By holding a #chumbrella the individual is giving tacit consent for another person to share their space, whether the reason is for protection from the elements, or just a friendly chat. The preceding hash-tag (#) allows people to share their #chumbrella experiences and stories via social media, to connect with others and establish an online community.
In recent years the global shift to text/type conversations has altered the way in which we communicate, consume and interact with others around us. Living in the physical is becoming increasingly alien as we disconnect with the people around us in favour of the digital medium. Whilst accepting this social shift #chumbrella provides real moments of value and aims to enrich our experience of public spaces by removing barriers and popularising social interaction.
“we have to find ways of breaking down the barriers between people – we seem to be increasingly suspicious of strangers”
A DRIFTERS GUIDE TO URBAN WANDERING – www.nicwinstanley.com
Based on the avant garde principle of psychogeography, this guide prompts you to explore in ways that the pressures of modern life rarely permit. The guide includes 6 sets of simple instructions that you can apply to any built environment, to transform your trip into a voyage of personal discovery.
Conduct your walk using this formula:
2nd right, 1st left, 1st right, 2nd left. Repeat.
Using instructions to influence your walk has a quite a strong effect on the way you move through a space and the things you notice. Dedicating yourself wholly to the process also has the effect of complete emersion, clearing your mind and allowing you to think more deeply about your surroundings and your place within them.
“I genuinely hope these forward thinkers do pull it off, because the experience of other cities shows public art really can make a difference.”
The Sentinel: John Woodhouse – Is sharing an umbrella (chumbrella) really the way to regenerate Hanley?