Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
The Hangout is an interactive installation that sparks community activity and social interaction through play. The design focuses on sight, sound, and touch to spark creativity, exploration, and free-choice learning. The Hangout is located in the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans a low income community that is still struggling to come back since hurricane Katrina. The concept was to create a play space at a location that was used by the community on a daily basis. We wanted to promote the idea of "Play Everywhere".
When working with local community members to develop the project we were introduced to Burnell Cotlon who started the communities first and only grocery store, laundry mat, and barber shop post Katrina. We also found out the location is the kids bus stop for school. We decided this location would be perfect because it is already actively used space by the community. The Hangout was designed to provide not only a place for the community to play and interact, but simply a safe place for them to gather and hangout. We used touch sensor technology to create a unique interactive experience that allows the visitors to play music by touching the tops of the cylinders. At night and in the early morning there are no street lights on the block so we decided to light the neighborhood up with color changing LEDS that provide a unique visual experience.
Play is important within a community it helps bring people together in a positive way. We hope The Hangout can be a platform for community development within the Lower Ninth Ward.
The Hangout was designed as an interactive installation that sparks play through sight, sound, and touch. We used new touch sensor technology that allowed visitors to use their sense of touch to begin to play music. The installation acts similar to that of a midi controller for a DJ. Each cylinder resonates a specific sound or beat when touched by the human hand. The conductivity of the hand essentially completes the circuit and triggers the sensor to play that specific sound designated to the cylinder.
When we designed the space we wanted to create different unique spacial experience that allowed visitors to interact in different ways. The heights of the installation range from 3' high to 12". We placed them in different groupings that would encourage group interaction. The entire installation is made of steel and then powder coated for long lasting durability. Each cylinder is wired to a hub cylinder that operates about 5 cylinders light and sound controls.
The Lower Ninth is a community that doesn't have much to call its own. So we wanted to create a unique but inventive way to provide a space where people can play, create, inspire, and simply hangout.