As part of the Current Issues in Creative Media module in 4th year, I was required to form a group and create an artifact (video, website, animation, etc) which fell under one of the headings/ topics provided in class. Myself, Conor Moore, James Butterly and Fionn Larkin formed a group under the agreed topic of ‘Outside The Box’. After a few brainstorming sessions and some research into the meaning and general ideas behind the term, we decided to apply the term to a popular theme we found online during research: Fun Theory.
This is basically the idea of adding a new/ fun/ out-of-the-norm element to an everyday action or mundane process, which without, would usually go unnoticed. Using this, we asked ourselves: By introducing creativity to a public space, is it possible to alter peoples behavior for the better?
A great example of fun theory in action is an initiative carried out by Volkswagen where certain public service elements were given a ‘fun’ make over. Here are some example videos:
Piano stairs – TheFunTheory.com – Rolighetsteorin.se:
The world’s deepest bin – Thefuntheory.com – Rolighetsteorin.se:
For the project, we set up 2 experiments:
Bean Bag Front Row:
Playing on the idea that students tend to avoid sitting in the front row of a class room, we set up a row of comfy, colourful bean bag chairs at the front of a class and recorded the results of students coming into the room and choosing where to sit (the bean bag chairs or the ordinary back rows). This experiment came with mixed results: all bean bag chairs were used but only after a little encouragement, and only by those who knew who we were (friends/classmates). A moderate success.
In the nearby food & drink area where students usually sit down with a cup of tea/coffee and a snack between classes, we noticed how some students fail to dispose of their waste when leaving the area and instead leave them on the tables. In order to encourage the use of the provided bins, we set up a little basketball net over one of the surrounding rubbish bins and recorded the results of students using the same bin. The rise in the number of students using the bin after the basketball net was added was quite surprising.
We had a third experiment organized: ‘Chalk Path’. Essentially this was to be a series of drawn out paths or routes on the pathways outside leading to building, which would attempt to see if people would deviate from their walking route if faced with a division in the path in front (Eg: Male/ Female path or Happy/ Sad path). These paths would be drawn out in chalk with possible traffic cones and other items signaling individuals where to walk. Due to a sudden spout of bad weather however, we had to abandon this experiment. Another time perhaps…
For more information on this project, check out the project blog ‘Creativity in Public’ at this link:
Or you can find the link in this sites ‘Other Blogs’ tab.