What Happens When You Put a Coffee Table at a Bus Stop? What Happens When You Put a Coffee Table at a Bus Stop?
Communities

What Happens When You Put a Coffee Table at a Bus Stop?

by Alissa Walker

July 21, 2011

The table—set with a newspaper and a vase of flowers—becomes a hub of interaction for the corner. People not only flock to the table, they end up talking to each other about it. Kim says she was surprised to see so many serendipitous moments in what amounted to only eight minutes of video. "The number and variety of people milling about—workers, kids, the elderly, of every ethnic group—surprised me," she says. "I thought I'd have to shoot for at least an hour to capture anything worthwhile."

Kim thinks that creating better environments for transit riders is certainly a missed opportunity for the city. "People wait for a while at these stops, 15 to 20 minutes," she says. "This is an opportunity for the city to engage them." Included in her growing ideas of creating "surreal, out-of-place" situations, is the idea of building exercise equipment at stops, so people could squeeze a few pull-ups in. Sadly, she's got her work cut out for her, since most corners in L.A. offer the same ugly, uncomfortable bus benches, and not much else. "Many neighborhoods in L.A. still lack built features that stimulate the senses and elicit interest at pedestrian scale," she says. "Perhaps the coffee table filled that role momentarily."

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What Happens When You Put a Coffee Table at a Bus Stop?