#WodenExperiment Discovery Report Out Now

Get full access to the Discovery Report.

#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.

The project was spoken about on ABC Radio Canberra’s Drive program with Jolene Laverty, and presented in the ACT Legislative Assembly by Chris Steel MLA.

Woden Word Cloud, How does the square make you feel?

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:

Keep up with #WodenExperiment news by joining StreetChat, our monthly e-newsletter. New and existing subscribers can enter our Win A Smart Watch competition until August 30, 2018.

You can also follow the #WodenExperiment Facebook Page.


make an enquiry

Opening hours are from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

enquire now

recent news

Join Us For Tea Time (via Zoom)

Take a quick (and educational) tea break with us! Customers are invited to join a fast and interactive one-on-one Zoom chat with your local Street Furniture Australia representative to learn about street furniture trends, new products and latest projects.  Presentations are guaranteed no longer than 10-minutes plus Q&A. Each participant will receive a T2 Ten gift box. The T2 Ten box includes 10 teas and tisanes – China Jasmine, French Early Grey, Green Rose, Lemongrass & Ginger, Melbourne Breakfast, Morning Sunshine, New York Breakfast, Packs a Peach, Sleep Tight and Tummy Tea. Book by contacting Nancy on teatime@streetfurniture.com, or via the button below. Update: and the winner of the Tokyobike is … Tea Time participants from September to December in 2020 had a chance to win a Tokyobike Classic Sport. …

  • 25 sep 2020
read more

In Profile: Claudia Gee Vassar

Houston’s first botanic garden opened in September 2020, in the middle of a pandemic, offering locals a green escape from the confines of their living spaces into 132 acres of living museum. Some 2.5 miles of walking trails guide visitors along a bayou meander and through six outdoor gallery spaces displaying a collection of tropical, sub-tropical and arid plants from around the world to showcase the biodiversity that thrives along the Texas Gulf Coast. Claudia Gee Vassar, President and General Counsel of the Garden, joined the institution’s long journey towards establishment (18 years from nonprofit formation to opening day) in 2016. She shares her insights with StreetChat about the creation and growth of a very rare thing in 2020: a brand-new botanic garden. 1. What inspires you? I am inspired …

  • 18 jan 2021
read more

Trend Watch January 2021

The rise of functional art: Public art can blend both form and function, blurring boundaries between the street object and the outcome people get from their engagement with it.  Making art an everyday experience is integral to some of the best public spaces and cities around the world. The right mix of permanent or temporary installations can reflect identity and create vibrancy in an area. The artsy bus shelter pictured above (left) offers a playful and engaging option for those seeking transportation. And the water droplet shape – pictured above right – first appears to be a sculpture, but on closer inspection reveals itself to be a water fountain for refilling drink bottles.  The design of the fountain – called the O fountain – is courtesy of Melbourne based ‘O …

  • 19 jan 2021
read more

related news

Applying User-Centred Design to Public Space Activation

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 …

  • 22 may 2018
read more

#WodenExperiment on ABC Radio

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 …

  • 13 apr 2018
read more

Woden Experiment to Activate Square

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 …

  • 6 apr 2018
read more