Public spaces are increasingly being designed to not only look great but also foster an element of activity, engagement and interaction. Trending worldwide, new examples of interactive public spaces (both temporary and permanent) include, Millennium Park in Chicago, Sky Mirror in Sydney and Water Light Graffiti in Poitiers.
Millennium Park is the centre piece of Chicago. The park is highly interactive and is a key attraction for both residents and tourists. One of the key sculptures, Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor (or as I refer to it, the 'Jelly Bean'), provides endless opportunities to photograph your reflection or the reflection of the Chicago skyline and provides a distorted reality. The sculpture was intriguing and provided me with many opportunities to not only engage with my friends but also other people who were exploring the Jelly Bean.
Another popular attraction in Millennium Park is the Crown Fountain. During the day the two glass brick towers project images of faces on their LED displays. The faces continue to change and squirt out water through a water nozzle. The artwork attracts people of all ages to play in the fountain, particularly on hot days. Another interactive installation involving water and LEDs was Water Light Graffiti which was temporarily displayed in Poitiers in France. This installation has taken interactive public spaces one step further by giving the design powers back to the public.
Kapoor's public experiements are not only limited to Chicago but can be found across the world. In Sydney, the Museum of Contemporary Art is currently exhibiting a number of Annish Kapoor’s artworks and sculptures. Kapoor experiments with a range of materials, however his works are recognisable for their scale and impact. The Sky Mirror, which is currently located at the front of the MCA, was previously located outside the Rockafellar Centre in New York and provides tourists and visitors to the MCA with opportunities to experience Kapoor’s ingenious sculptures and distort reality.
Large artistic installations create interactive public spaces which are not only trending but are successfully producing vibrant attractions within large cities. Look out for temporary public installations or even permanent ones in a city near you!
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