New Yorkers love to voice their opinion. Pipe Up! is an interactive installation that gives New Yorkers the opportunity to connect and communicate with strangers. Rather than through the virtual world, Pipe Up! uses a hard-line connection: plumbing pipes interweaved in a complex web, bringing the voice of person A to the ear of person B located at a different point in the installation. Pipe Up! connects users to someone they don’t know, and thus giving them a chance to discuss, debate, and learn about something new.
By using a simpler “old-world” technology - analog devices reliant on the properties of sound and vibration - the installation requires the physical engagement of the user: they must lean in, bend down, cup hands, and of course, speak and listen. Pipe Up! has a unique ability to create a communal forum and yet still give each person the chance to speak one-on-one with one another.
Pipe Up! is a pre-fabricated installation, comprised of two distinct modules. Modules A and B can be connected to each other in series, ad infinitum, or broken up to create an endless variety of configurations that can be tailored to programmatic and site constraints. Different configurations allow for different types of civic engagement. Each of these modules will be pre-fabricated off-site and simply connected to one another once transported to the site. Elements of water ballast have been designed and will be inserted on site to provide structural stability.
These pipes represent the structural and infrastructural systems that live below the city streets and inside building walls - systems that are typically invisible to the general public. Pipe Up! brings these elements to the foreground and transforms them into the conduits of ideas, the transmitters of arguments, and conveyors of proclamations.
Location: New York, NY
Project Type: Competition
Design Period: 2015
In collaboration with Amy Chang, Brian Ha, and Ryan Miller