The original concept of this 5D project is about the idea of a home, the sense of ownership and security when people occupy a space.
Sean Scanlan and I, as partners for this project, chose Tompkins Square Park at East Village as our installation space. Tompkins Square Park is a place of diverse groups of people. It has been a symbol of problems in the city including the problem of homelessness which prompted the riot in 1988. During our first try at the park, we installed a mat with house-shaped lights on it and once people step on it, the lights would turn on. We initially put the mat on the grass but no one interacted with it. We asked a person to sit on the mat and she gave some helpful feedbacks about this mat being too formal and somehow distancing.
We moved the mat to the cement ground and got more attention.
Sean and I kept having conversations back and forth in terms of the concept and in what way we wanted to present the idea. We both wanted to present the idea in a more abstract way. So for the second prototype, we used tape to create different units of “home” space around the benches area. We really like the theatrical effect of the stage area in the park. The second prototype works and we moved on to the final installation.
For the final installation, we got colored tapes and taped around all the benches to create the one units, two units and three units (indicating different capacities for personal spaces). The result is surprising that people would be more sensitive to the color over the actual arrangements of the benches. The variation of people’s preferences for personal spaces also gives me insights in terms of what is a space for a person.