My project is Pittsbubble— a series of interactive public bubble machines.
On a totally abstract level, bubbles represent a not-often-explored medium for design and community engagement. On a more practical level, everyone loves bubbles, and I think the more bubbles a city has, the better.
This project's origin is with bubblesrightnow.com, and the bubble maker I have attached to the outside of my home off butler street in Lawrenceville. Since building the system and its website over summer, thousands of people passing by have taken out their phone and pressed the button online to send bubbles flying into the streets of Lawrenceville. So far, there's been a lot of positive community responses, ranging from a kind email from the Lawrenceville development corporation, to random comments from parents with their kids. I think of this as Pittsbubble phase I.
But now I'm eager to explore Pittsbubble phase II; the idea of phase II is the creation of a network of more robust, fun, and connected public bubble machines around the city, that allows the city to interact with them in a way that bring joy and excitement. With a grant from Awesome Foundation PGH, I should be able to build ~5 of these stations, with the goal of installing them in public spaces. Of course one challenge is finding partners comfortable with a bubblemaker being installed in their space, but I think with my relationships with a few local companies and universities (or perhaps by input from Awesome Foundation PGH leadership!), I'd be able to find a few places to put these.
Funded by Pittsburgh, PA (March 2020)