Statue of David Hume

Aswin Yogesh, M.Des, Communication Design

This is the toe of the statue of David Hume made by Alexander Stoddart on the Royal Mile (the main road leading to the castle) in Edinburgh, Scotland. I consider this a fine example of designing interaction. Bronze statues naturally develop a layer called Patina due to oxidation. This is the reason why the statue of Liberty looks green even though it’s outer layer is copper which should normally look shiny yellow. In this case of the sculpture of Davis Hume the philosopher, Stoddart decided to keep the plinth (platform) reachable by hand and made the right leg and toes extend outside the plinth. This encourages the pedestrians to engage with the sculpture and over time a habit of pedestrians rubbing the toes of the statue developed. Students of Philosophy in Edinburgh particularly do this hoping that they could rub and take away some of Hume’s knowledge, while David Hume himself was against superstitions. Here the property of copper oxidation, human tendency to develop new habits and a master sculptor’s wit play together to make notice a Philosopher who was once brushed aside because his thoughts were too hard for people to understand. A sculpture bridged the gap.