1. Winner – sandandsea
Participants: Joshua Hsu and Tomas Mor
Team Code: PP0207
Gathering type: Dynamic
Occupancy: 40-50 people
Site: Piazza Trilussa, Rome, Italy
Project Description: In the Mediterranean culture, spontaneous gatherings are one of the most significant acts of human interaction and they take place in different spaces. In the Trastevere, Rome, the most popular gathering space is Piazza Trilussa, which is undoubtedly the best spot to perform for street performers. Located adjacent to River Tiber and surrounded by a host of great restaurants and bars, Piazza Trilussa is where people gather, grab a few beers with strangers, and appreciate music and the unique ambiance irreplaceable by any modern technology.
With the surrounding architecture as a backdrop, any corner on the piazza can be the stage for street performers; however, the center of the piazza is reserved for the best and most captivating performers. As the performance begins, flocks of people noticed the music is coming from what appears to be a collection of boxes embedded partially underground. They make their way to one these boxes and discover these boxes are arranged radially to the stage and the interstitial space between boxes are exit that affords pedestrians glimpses of the performance at center stage. Each box is equipped with two ramps, one leads to the balcony three feet above the ground, and a declining ramp that leads four feet underground to a seating area that connects to the stage. At the oddly small entrance is a sign specifying maximum occupancy: 2 people.
Piazza Trilussa is most crowded during lunch and dinner time, and that’s when the street performers like to perform. At other times of the day, the stage is open to the public. The project integrates with the site and is used for both performing arts and a safe space for spontaneous gatherings.
2. Runner Up – The Umbrella Movement: the performance of protest
Participant: Neeti Sivakumar
Team Code: PP0248
Gathering type: Dynamic
Occupancy: 50+ people
Using this as a foundation to create a pandemic-proof protest, the umbrella is developed as a multipurpose structure. It would create a sense of security, solidarity, and voice to the individual, allowing them to retain their place in a public forum. The umbrella becomes a space of rest, playing a role in demonstrations, and a space of resistance, playing a role in protests.
3. Honorable Mention – Harmonium
Team Code: PP0163
Gathering type: Intimate
Occupancy: 20 people
Harmonium is an answer to the growing need for community in the postpandemic age. In these tough times, its easy to install, plug and move feature makes art and performances accessible for both artists and the community . Take it to your local park or the main square, to your shopping street or the community hall Harmonium goes with you everywhere. Use it for your next gig, or an intimate book reading, your next play, a family outdoor gathering or even your next black lives matter protest Harmonium can be dismantled, re-confi gured and installed however you want.
The standard Harmonium comes with five 4m x 4m interlocked units and each unit can accommodate 4 people with 2m social distancing. The design is meant to encourage more intimate, meaningful gatherings for a maximum of 20 people. It is easy to plug-in and conceal services as well as adjustable stage location and distance will be perfect for any event.
What’s more the Harmonium is great during the pandemic too . Make your own isolation units in your backyard, host socially distanced play dates for your kids or donate one for a family in need. Forget the traditional theatres and auditoriums , Harmonium is the new modular future in these rapidly changing times. Buy one, rent one or donate one today!
4. Honorable Mention – Festival Infini
Participant: Bronte Morris-Poolman, Emily Bremner
Team Code: PP0211
Gathering type: Festive
Occupancy: 4000 people
Site: Île Sainte-Hélène at Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal, Canada
Festival Infini is a large-scale music and arts festival with a capacity of 4000 attendees or “infinians” held on Île Sainte-Hélène at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal, Canada. Infinians explore the site in pairs or individually along a pathway that meanders within and between habitats. The infinite path uses playful markers to maintain 2m between infinians. It also indicates pace and speed, reflecting a post-pandemic take on the collective experience of a music festival, as the pace of each individual produces a uniting domino effect.
The path invites infinians to actively engage with each other, their environment, and the music. The habitats are not only distinct in music genre and performance, but also in character, mood, ambience, and atmosphere. Their locations vary between open-green, aquatic, and forested sites. All nine consist of a concentric, swirling pathway leading to a stage in the centre surrounded by an open-air geodesic dome structure that serves as the flexible backdrop for each habitant to come alive within. Each is designed to provide infinians with a unique half-hour experience to connect with their surroundings, the artists, and their fellow patrons. The approach and departure from the stage along the path provides equal opportunity for all to have an intimate moment with the artists. Between habitats, the open-air journey involves travelling bands, engaging performances, art installations, socially distant rest zones, bathrooms, and food/beverage kiosks.
5. Honorable Mention – Fly Light Plaza
Participant: Abigail Benouaich and Styliani Leivadioti
Team Code: PP0227
Gathering type: Dynamic
Occupancy: 10-200 people
Fly Light reimagines the future of the performing arts experience. The spatial light installation promotes social distancing as a temporary solution to reactivate public spaces after the pandemic. Using light as a 'temporary matter to capture a temporary state', Fly Light harnesses behavioural design to transition people from the mental roadblocks of lockdown to engage in dynamic gatherings.
Mimicking the behaviour of flocks of birds in flight, Fly Light is composed of two paradoxical planes dividing the urban, social and psychological space; a life subjected to limits, and a life of freedom. The starting point is the creation of a temporary social distancing grid of 2m distance between people. The grid is translated into a hierarchical gradient in response to the plaza's existing behavioural movement patterns, giving it a formal framework. An algorithm is used to extrude the grid above the ground to create a 'curtain of light' as a mesmerising flight pattern. The curtain of light projects light beams on to ground to emulate the safe grid, whilst simultaneously defining 'invisible' performance spaces. Moving as one single entity, the flight pattern's light sources can alter in intensity, colour and composition, and can be adapted to different plazas, performance types and scales of audience.
Dropping a curtain of light over the night and ourselves, Fly Light is a poetic illustration of how we, as humans, are striving to live autonomously after lockdown. The flock behaviour as a form of 'self-organisation' gives agency to the people, whilst the ethereal quality of light echoes a message of hope and freedom.
Jury Note: This project is unique in its use of light as a playful and dynamic unit of social distancing in a public space. The play of light could be harnessed as an element of surprise and for directing focus towards the performer moving amongst a socially distanced audience. Similar to fountains, such an installation could be retained as an enduring and exciting element of public space even after social distancing norms are relaxed. The fabrication and assembly can be further elaborated.
After receiving a heartwarming response of 101 entries from our enthusiastic participants, the Project Platypus team shortlisted 20 projects from which our esteemed jury picked 2 the winning entries and 3 honorable mentions. Soon the winning and honorable entries of both the design competition and art campaign will be featured on various online platforms curated by our media partners. Also, we offer some special perks to our winners and honorable mentions - free registration for the next edition of Project Platypus’s competition!
It’s been an immense pleasure to engage with our participants, followers, jury members, webinar panelists and moderators over the past few months and kudos to our team for helping us put together our very first competition. Looking forward to many more ahead...
Watch this space for updates on exhibitions and the publication proceedings. Lots more to come!