Surfaced

Reclaim public spaces through words.

Surfaced is a concept we created with PLADS. It’s an urban installation that enables citizen to express themselves in a new way. Using words and light-transmitting concrete as material, Surfaced aims to nourish empathy not only between people, but also for unused spaces. The Backstage and Goodbye Malmö are two concepts that Surfaced was applied to.

In The Backstage citizens are invited to publish texts by sending an SMS to walls distributed in the area. By completing sentences like “When you told me…” or “If only you knew…“, people can anonymously say out loud what was maybe not possible before.

With Goodbye Malmö people can leave a personal message to the city through the city. It invites people to write a letter that will live on the wall of main transport hubs, such as train stations and airports. People are given the opportunity to say goodbye, share personal experiences, memories rooted in the city and welcome newcomers.

The Backstage reshuffles the relationship between strangers and creates a feeling of ownership over the space they inhabit.
The concept of The Backstage can be used to create awareness on different social matters, such as gender differences.
Goodbye Malmö displayed on the walls of the Central Station.
Goodbye Malmö displayed on the inside walls of the Central Station. People participate by entering their goodbye letter in a booth-like station close to wall itself.
The created letters in Goodbye Malmö are worth being archived in an annual book. Not only it displays each personal story but also the development of a city.
Prototype for The Backstage installed at the Orkanen library. People could send an SMS to a number, and that message would automatically be a part of the prototype.
To prototype Goodbye Malmö, we asked for different people to anonymously write letters to/about Malmö. This is one example of response.
This blackboard was the medium for many experiments we did with people and words. We wanted to know what and how people share, and analyse their dynamics while doing it.
Still playing with words, we created different experiments to prompt people to create their own poems from pre-defined texts.
We created a “flip board” for people to create their own poems.
Still experimenting with sharing words, we created a cultural probe: a bag full of words, hashtags and emojis for people to tag the city with.
We wanted to understand how people could treat the city as a canvas. This is one example of a participant’s use of the cultural probe.


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