Funtheory

31 05 2011

by Vlado Kabat

Funtheory is an experiment project with initiative of Volkswagen run in the Swedish capital- Stockholm. It’s a campaign with an aim to make people do things which are not very comfortable, things that people do not tend to do in the first place, or in other words funtheory tries to change people’s lazy behavior. Competitors were creating projects and the best ones were awarded. Some of the projects were actually quite interesting which tried to improve people’s behavior in public spaces by making it fun to do.

One of the most successful projects was created in a metro station in Stockholm. The target was to attract people to use stairs rather than escalators by creating a working piano on the stairs that interact with the pedestrians . Creators argued, that signs on the walls saying: ”Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator and feel better.” are not convincing enough. The other project encourages people to use bins for trash rather than throwing in on the ground.

If you are interested in these projects there are more on their homepage http://www.thefuntheory.com/.   

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4 responses

31 05 2011
Lowri

I love it!

1 06 2011
majedasultanhattar

Vlado… thank you for your interesting post. I think it is a very creative way to enhance good behaviour, especially for children as it will become part of their personality and daily routines. In my point of view, the idea is reminiscent of Johan Huizinga‘s theory of “Homo Ludens,” or man the player, which puts emphasis on the importance of elements of play in learning as well as cultural and social evolvement. As we can see in the video people started to have new experiences by going up the stairs and started to play along with the giant piano.
Moreover, this method may be used to send “hidden messages” to the users of the pubic space: on the surface there is the fun element of walking up the piano stairs and hearing the sounds of your steps as piano tunes, while at the same time people are using the stairs instead of the escalator. Therefore, they are doing something for their health.
To put it in a nutshell, this concept is a good example of the importance of fun and play elements in public space.

2 06 2011
minhhaihathai

Good finding Vlado! I really had fun with it.
I think we can encourage people to aim to a healthy living if we providing them chance and joyfulness to do so. In your example, the initiative created new magnets that stronger than the existing ones. The ‘giant piano’ magnet (fun, enjoy) is stronger than that of escalator (convenience, enjoy); the ‘deep bin’ magnet (curious, responsibility) is stronger than that of traditional ones (responsibility). People will walk if they are provided pedestrian routes with pleasure and attractive destinations; they will exercise if they had venue with safe and green.
Refer to cycle issues in our university, we have Scratch Bike Service, but I believe that not much people know about them. Why? Although Scratch Bike Service allow you to rent a high-quality bike for just 50p, the bike is not available where great number of student are living (such as Heaton, Jesmond or Fenham). Besides, cycle parking lot in our university seems not enough (I knew some guys even park their bike in the side entrance of Architecture Building).

3 06 2011
siham1

Very interesting post Valdo, I really like it and enjoy it as Majeda and Ha . It is very comprehensive and creative way to innovate thing like that; I guess this Idea strongly affects the potential sense of place. Especially, the people’s senses “sensory experience” by adding new experience on public space which is the music, people can hear and play the music by themselves, this can enhance the relationship between people and space. In addition, the idea clearly represents deep understanding of psychological side of people’s desire and interest. Also, it is very funny way to attract people and make them use and enjoy the stairs and even change people’s behaviour and choices to be more health by walking on normal stair rather standing on escalator.

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