Meeting Bowls NYC: Street Furniture For Spontaneous Dialog [Pics]

Spanish collaborative mmmm… have created a new street furniture installation which creates an intimate conversation environment in the center of Manhattan’s busiest plaza.

Yesterday a new urban furniture installation was unveiled on the pedestrian plaza in Times Square. “Meeting Bowls” are three large semi-spherical capsules that seat up to eight people. The project is the work of Madrid-based mmmm… in partnership with the Times Square Alliance. We spoke with Eva Salmerón, one of the four members of the Spanish collaborative who described the project as an experiment to facilitate spontaneous interactions and dialogue. The Times Square location, which is framed by enormous video screens, tall buildings, and dense crowds created an opportunity to design a street furniture piece which allowed people to experience an intimate space. Each of the Bowls rest on a base which gently rocks, giving those seated a sensation of floating.

Each of the three Meeting Bowls are made from CNC cut fiber board. mmmm… designed and constructed a prototype in Spain and sent the digital drawings to a fabricator in New Jersey who produced the final pieces. The team spent two days assembling the three Bowls in Times Square with screw guns and hammers.

Those visiting the project can record their dialog with others inside the Meeting Bowls on their smartphones and share the audio on the project website accessed by a QR code.

Meeting Bowls by mmmm…
August 17th – September 16th 2011
Times Square NYC
46th St and Broadway

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