As the value of public spaces comes into focus, this article shares seven case studies of street furniture being used to help improve community wellbeing. Both tactical pop-ups and permanent installations are featured below, with examples of projects that foster community engagement and measure social impact. Street Furniture Australia products have been tried-and-tested to activate spaces and deliver results. Select from our range to bring life, joy and comfort to your community. Case 1. Creating Millions of Smiles Woden Experiment was a six-month prototype installation by the ACT Government that aimed to bring life, joy and comfort to Canberra’s Woden Town Square. Brightly coloured seats and tables were configured in random positions to create a casual and welcoming vibe. Community interviews, observations and workshops were at the heart of this …
#WodenExperiment Discovery Report Out Now
#WodenExperiment is a six-month furniture installation to activate Woden Town Square in Canberra. The aim is to bring more life and joy to this public space for its community.
The project is lead by Street Furniture Australia in partnership with the ACT Government. It began in early 2018 with a 6-week long Discovery phase, to dive deep into the Woden community’s thoughts, feelings and needs.
Following the Discovery phase, which sets up the project brief, Context Landscape Design is working on the design concept for the activation. Research partners will help quantify the effect of the transformation.
The Discovery journey was essential for establishing a user-centred design for this project. The Woden community generously engaged with our surveys in the square and online via StreetChat and the #WodenExperiment Facebook Page, and contributed to a workshop held at Woden Library.
During the six weeks we observed journeys to and across the square, researched the history of the place, and engaged with key local stakeholders.
All of these activities and research were distilled into six user personas to represent the majority of people who currently visit or pass through Woden square: the Time Out-er, Office Worker, Mum, Retiree, Wanderer and Student.
Issues and opportunities were extrapolated from the survey and workshop participants’ experiences and wishlist. The grand challenge for the activation will be to address:
- The microclimate, by homifying the place.
- ‘Grey’-ness, by adding wow factor.
- Limited activities with a design that provides many reasons to stay.
- Safety by fostering community ownership and activation across the day and week.
- Disconnection, by adding wayfinding and technology.
The full journey and findings so far are available in our 67-page Discovery report, ready to view or download now via this form:
You can also follow the #WodenExperiment Facebook Page.
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What happens to public space when everything moves outside? To create room for social distancing in the pandemic recovery period, restaurants, bars and cafe tables are spilling out onto city streets, writes Feargus O’Sullivan for Bloomberg CityLab – sometimes skipping past the sidewalk and into parking spots and vehicle lanes. “The movements of these private businesses into new spaces pose new challenges about who gets to occupy outside spaces that are increasingly in demand,” he says. “Reopened parks, one of the few place to freely and safely congregate during coronavirus, are frequently packed. Many streets already have sidewalks filled with lines of people waiting to enter stores enforcing a low customer capacity. Add a new range of table service businesses to this busy streetscape, and issues about who get priority …
Street Furniture Australia has used empathy interviews, personas, observations, journey mapping and other user-centred research techniques to focus Woden Experiment on the community. These qualitative methods unearth rich detail about the lives and needs of people who use Woden Town Square. The aim is to inform the design of the six-month installation with a “community first” philosophy. “We employ user-centred design techniques in the making of our furniture, and #WodenExperiment now offers the opportunity to apply this methodology to public places,” says Mark Armstrong, Street Furniture Australia Design Director. “One of the challenges of public space is meeting the needs of people from many different walks of life. Through our empathy interviews and observations of the town square we have come up with six key personas to design for. “The …
ABC Radio Canberra’s Jolene Laverty chats with Street Furniture Australia’s June Boxsell about #WodenExperiment on Drive. The following is a transcript of the program, which aired on Wednesday April 4, 2018. JL. The social project that has increased foot traffic in Garema Place by 200% is going to be replicated in Woden. June Boxsell is the Design and Marketing manager of Street Furniture Australia and she runs these programs, hi June. JB. Hi there, thank you for having me. JL. Thank you for joining us. So it’s called the #WodenExperiment and it’s based on the very successful #BackyardExperiment, which was held in Garema Place a few years ago. Can you just take us back to 2016 and remind us what the Garema Place experiment was? JB. The #BackyardExperiment was a …
Street Furniture Australia, with support from the ACT Government, has begun the Discovery phase for #WodenExperiment, a six-month furniture installation to activate Woden Town Square in Canberra. Members of the community, local businesses and politicians gathered to discuss the project and share their experiences of the square at a workshop held in March. Around 40 participants brainstormed issues and opportunities for the square around Retail Experience, Community Involvement, Comfort and Amenity, and Wow Factor. “It was exciting to see so many people filling the room, with a great mix of people from community, business and local government creating an atmosphere of high energy and interest,” says Diana Hill, Manager Capital Works – Urban with Transport Canberra and City Services. “As a result many great ideas about issues and opportunities were discovered …