This Friday, 25 April 2O15, international public art project Hello Lamp Post will launch in Tokyo at the city’s Roppongi Art Night, a one-night, all-night, art extravaganza celebrating art in the everyday. Hello Lamp Post is a delightful system created by London-based designers Pan Studio that invites people to strike up conversations with familiar street furniture using the messaging function of their mobile phones.
The project brilliantly combines art and technology to encourage people to look at the city in a new ways, engage with the everyday objects that often go unnoticed, share memories of their urban spaces and uncover the stories that others leave behind.
How's it done? Objects are "woken" by emailing “Hello + [Object Name] + #[Object reference]” to firstname.lastname@example.org for instance “Hello Tokyo Tower #333”. You can speak to any object, from the iconic Tokyo Tower to the Louise Bourgeois sculpture Maman, and Roppongi Crossing, in both English and Japanese.
Hello Lamp Post was originally developed for Watershed’s Playable City Award in 2013 in Bristol, UK, which invites creatives from around the world to propose distinctive ideas that put people and play at the heart of the future city, (the shortlist for the 2015 Playable City Award is currently being drawn up now). It arrives in Rappongi as a co-production by British Council and Watershed in preparation for a programme of work around Playable City in Tokyo later on in the year.
Tokyo picks up the Hello Lamp Post baton from Austin in the United States where thousands of Austin residents and visitors have been sending text messages to lamp posts, bus stops, and other inanimate objects for the last ten weeks. I for one can't wait to find out what will get Tokyo talking...