We all like to stay in our comfort zone and stick to what we know. The problem with that is that we loose touch with the rest of society and the people we share our surroundings with.
We wanted to analyze how we can connect strangers. That’s a pretty tough challenge and since we couldn’t focus on a specific group of users (because everybody should be included) we decided to focus on the where instead of the who. We chose to work in public spaces such as parks, train stations etc…
We set up several stations that were built to trigger interactions.
How it works
1. Lure them in
To attract the attention of strangers it takes a lot.
So to draw them in we built a bigger set up that resembles a funnel. It’s meant to firstly attract any passerby and make them feel comfortable and finally conversate with a stranger. By scanning the QR code or using one of our tablets they could get to our website. We built this website in a pretty simple manner. The user fills in the sentence anonymously. Their statement gets printed out immediately and can then get hung up by the user. By the end of the installation there were loads of different statements that attracted new people.
2. Lead them to a conversation
After they fill in their statements about prejudices the set up led them to one of two seats. The seats were separated by a wall so the two participants couldn’t see each other. We built sensors into the seats that recognize if somebody sat down. As soon as there were two participants a timer of 10 minutes started. The participants were informed of the timer by a sound and a LED light.
Now they were meant to have a conversation guided by a set of questions provided by us. After the 10 minutes were over they could stand up and actually see each other.
After one day at Marienplatz Stuttgart (Germany)