LARA GALEA Creative Technologist The Bus’t a Move project was created with the intention of introducing an element of play to public transport in Auckland, specifically on buses. I was interested in seeing how I could challenge the anti-social and zombie-like behaviour of passengers and potentially transform what’s seen as the mundane experience of catching public transport in to a daily highlight for commuting Aucklanders. I came across the Proxemic Theory, in which Hall (1966) explains how when passenger’s intimate zone of 45cm proximity is crossed by someone outside of a strong intimate relationship, such as a family member or close friend, they react in highly defensive manner, feeling significantly uncomfortable. This results in passengers tensing muscles, avoiding eye contact and using objects as defense mechanisms (books, phones, bags etc). Thomas (2009) mentions that by encouraging positive social behaviours, like eye contact, smiling, laughter and open body language, the discomfort of having their interpersonal boundary crossed disappears. So my aim, has been to pin point how to encourage that positive passenger behavior through a playful and interactive approach. My main inspirations for this project have been behavioural experiments involving Pushbuttons in public spaces by the MIT team in “PushButton” and the work done with laughter, sound and movement in “Soundbike”. Through play-testing and reflection, I’ve learnt how universal and effective sound can be for passengers when used in a humorous and interactive approach. My first iteration for the project involves a large, attention-drawing push button that, when pressed, plays random, humorous sounds like laughter, farting, theme songs and animal noises. Although simple in design, the button meets my aims of encouraging positive passenger behaviour to the bus, by being interactive, humorous, unique and through it’s involvement of many passengers. This is a basic iteration for the Bus’t a Move project. Future iterations could explore ways to introduce collaboration among passengers, and ways in which the bus itself could become a more playful space, such as bubble machines mounted externally on the bus, that blow bubbles whenever the pushbuttons on board are pressed. 

Hall, E. T. (1966). The hidden dimension. Garden City, NY: Doubleday 

Plusea. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.plusea.at/?p=1001 Push Button Thomas, J. (2009). The Social Environment of Public Transport (Doctoral dissertation, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand).

Thompson, J. (n.d.). Soundbike. Retrieved from jessicathompson.ca/archives/374
BUS'T A MOVE

2015
 A project encouraging play in Auckland's Public Transport buses through interactive sound pushbuttons.
laragalea9@gmail.com