In 2016, the idea came about of installing an outdoor digital information access system within the park, as a means of telling the story of each art piece to the park’s visitors. The use of a solution based on connectivtiity technologies such as beacons and NFC was critical in achieving the objectives of this project.
Our goal was not merely technological, but aesthetic as well. We wanted to deploy a system that would allow every single visitor to have access to rich, and previously unavailable information about the various sculptures and the artists who made them, while keeping maintenance and upkeep costs low for the municipality, and avoiding the use of a solution based on expensive digital screens or other costly hardware, due to the threat of vandalism in the park.
At the same time, we needed to deploy a system that would protect the particular aesthetics of the park. A key debate in the project was how much information to give, and how obvious to make it within the park. In a sense, the art sculptures were installed so as to be actively enjoyed by the public, who is encouraged to touch them and interact with them. For the people living in the city, or the children growing there, each sculpture may take a new personal meaning, far different from the initial vision of the artist. What we therefore wanted to do was create a system that was discrete, that could inform visitors who are interested to know of the artist’s original vision, without overwhelming the sculptures, and preventing visitors from forming their own opinion about each piece. Our vision was to use technology to make the physical space of the park itself ‘talk’ to visitors, using technology that allowed visitors in the park to receive additional information on their phone about each sculpture, but only ‘if’ they chose to interact with it.