Gabrielle Clarke

About

Playing in public





Encouraging conversation and understanding between strangers through play.

Challenge

Following the November 2016 Presidential election, it became very clear to me that the people of this country were (and are) struggling to hear and understand each other's opinions and beliefs. People across the political spectrum felt unheard, disrespected, and even victimized during this election.

Objective

Encourage conversation and understanding between, or even just acknowlegement of, strangers.

Approach

We built wooden seesaws and installed them guerrilla-style in Boston Common. The seesaw provides a platform for communication via a mutually-understood game of raising and lowering, of finding balance together and establishing trust. The seesaw forces people to sit face-to-face.

We labeled the ends of our seesaw "stranger 1" and "stranger 2," nodding to the lexicon of children's literature and inviting folks to play with a stranger.