Connecting the Dots (Honorable Mention) is a QR-code based tour of Codman Square by Codman Academy’s Class of 2014.
Portable Reading Room (Winner) for Boston gives residents an uplifting reason to gather in public space. A great collection of books (and comfortable seating) brings people out and brings out the best in people. Creating a library setting at street level can humanize the urban landscape and make the city feel more intimate. The “room” will start on the Greenway, where a reading room can be used all season, serving multiple neighborhoods and partner with the Boston Public Library, Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to join forces to support neighborhood life.
Seat Light Control (Winner) is design investigation to transform a ubiquitous urban street artifact—the street light control box—into an urban amenity. These boxes, often haphazardly located on city sidewalks and pedestrian walkways, have a negative aesthetic. This project re-orients container—from a vertical slab to a horizontal plinth—and re-imagined the access panel as a city bench. This project will put Boston at the forefront of a transformational effort to improve the experience of urban sidewalk users and the streetscape aesthetics by replacing the mundane and unattractive with beautiful and distinctive street furniture with a purpose.
The Hub (Winner) not only creates new opportunities for neighborhood residents to actively engage with their streetscape, but also serves as an energetic billboard displaying Boston’s commitment to promoting active, healthy public spaces. A modular series of benches, planters, and bicycle parking, the Hub will introduce a cohesive, linked series of installations that visually strengthen the connection between businesses, institutions, and residences along Huntington Avenue with the neighborhood.
Stairs of Fabulousness (Winner). Simple. Colorful. “Rainbow stairs will make city hall 400% more fabulous,” according to the project proponent. This is a small intervention to the space, experimenting with color with the bricks and concrete as the canvas. Using non-skid tape, the stairs in the lobby area will be transformed by color.
Chair City Mountain (Winner). Nestled at the intersection of topography and placemaking. This creative outdoor furniture (which wants to be landscape) is an attempt to encourage engagement on a small, intimate and somewhat abstracted way. The project is an attempt to link people to landscape and to their environment, by inviting them to explore, climb, sit, socialize, hide, and play; by encouraging discovery the project hopes to strengthen the community’s connection to place.
Light Well (Winner). This project creates a new form of sustainable infrastructure that performs as public art by enlivening public space with engaging forms and light. The Light Well inspires many interpretations: an object of art, a seat, a planter, a light fixture, and a vegetated drywell for storm-water infiltration. Powered by solar LED lights, this structure will illuminate at night, taking the energy and life of the day to transform the urban landscape at night with glowing forms.
Rhodes (Winner) is an outdoor life-size video conference between public spaces in Boston and another city. The purpose is to reimagine the urban tapestry by creating a permanent link to another world. Eschewing voyeurism, the observer is implicated in the installation as he or she is also being viewed, fostering connections between two otherwise distant communities. Over time, commuters may start recognizing each other, friends might plan to meet, and it may become a rallying point for interaction during major events. Through Rhodes, Boston has an opportunity to be at the forefront of public, digital collaboration, and emerge as the leader of a field that we will believe will inevitably take form elsewhere.
Tidraphone (Winner), a tidal vibraphone, invites Bostonians to interact with the water and consider our relationship to it, via a playful musical experience that is dynamically affected by the daily tides. Perched on a granite pier on Boston’s Fort Point Channel, the 10-12 pipes of the Tidraphone extend into the water at various lengths. The pitch and tone are dependent on the degree to which the pipes are submerged by the tides. The melodies of tidal variations within the span of a day are a microcosm of the range of sea levels that might be experienced with future climate change. To amplify the connection with our changing climate, one pipe in the array will simulate the drastically different pitch that one would experience if the ocean were at 100-year flood levels projected 100 years from today.
A Gallery for the Public Space Invitational