Imagine a crosswalk like this: the cars stop, the ground lights up like a dance floor, music starts playing, and suddenly, instead of ignoring the person next to you, you make eye contact and you give each other a twirl. A serendipitous happening in the middle of the dull day.
This is the concept of "Stop, Walk, Stroll"—an installation developed Hirsch & Mann, a U.K. design group. It's designed for temporary pedestrian crossings, like those around construction, and the hope is that repair work can become just a little less annoying for pedestrians and motorists alike.
"Fixing up roads creates frustration and anger among passersby and people on their cars," says Daniel Hirschmann, founder of the design firm. "It would be great if we could inspire someone to have that shared moment when you dance with somebody and we're cracking through the armor of the daily grind."
Stop, Walk, Stroll recently won the Playable City Award organized by a British charity. Hirsch & Mann will now build the crosswalk in Bristol, England, before touring internationally.
Hirschmann hopes to incorporate local data—like weather information and traffic reports—to make the installation "relevant to the community." "If we can give people a moment that feels special or surprising or brings some humor, or tells them something valuable like 'it's going to rain in an hour, bring your jacket,' something magical could happen," he says.