{{One small change in the world a day}}

Ode to the Bus Stop

bus stop
I once read a very sad story: in Germany, some nursing homes build imitation bus stops for patients who are suffering from dementia. The patients will sit at the bus stop waiting for a bus to take them to their imagined destination. After some time the nursing staff comes to escort them back into the nursing home.

Every time I think of this story, the Hollies' Bus stop starts singing in my head. It's a slightly gloomy melody just as waiting for a bus usually is.

Surprisingly something as ordinary as a bus stop has inspired many creative minds - just as those tiny plants sprouting from the arid sidewalk.

1} My best friend Paulien wrote and animated this adorable short story about a very strong wind, a very light hat and an extremely well-fed man who is waiting for a bus: Wind.

2} Realized by Bosnian/Vietnamese duo Denis Leo Hegic & Thuan Te, Substop, a short film about a guy with a pen. Well, not really. An average person spends an average of 62 minutes per day waiting for things. Gadgets have turned waiting time into "useful" time. But is waiting really such a waste? Waiting is a time when thoughts are recollected, when ideas are born.

3} Advertising is everywhere. Companies have to produce creative and unique advertising which takes a twist on original advertising to beat all the competition. What better place to advertise your product than a bus stop? There are tons of great roundups on the web but these striked me due to their possibilities:
- Although a toilet at a bus stop resembles my worst nightmare, I think it would be great to build public toilets close to bus stops.
- Fisch Franke's fresh food built a whole poster tank to prove how fresh the fish are. I don't like fish in tanks (or birds in cages) but what if they build the tank all around the space of a shelter and only put small fish in it? Wouldn't that be great?

4} I would love to swing at a bus stop. Maybe we could build a swing bench: just imagine how much fun that would be. This modified London bus shelter by Bruno Taylor gives commuters a chance to have a little bit of playtime during their morning commute. He went and attached swings to a number of bus stops around the city. How much it must have been for those people waiting. I would have probably missed my bus.

5} By controlling the shape in which trees grow, TreeNovation creates products that are made of living trees. Although I am not a fan of man manipulating nature, I think this is a great way of incorporating nature into our urban environment.

6} I was amazed by Bangkok a few months ago, it's such a vibrant and colourful city! Very modern and civilized as well and not all as chaotic as described by many. What really striked me where its bus stops: elongated waiting shelters with rows of plants inside. It smelled lovely and it made me feel good.

7} David Černý is a Czech sculptor and whoever has been to Prague will remember his work, like the statue of St. Wenceslas riding a dead horse in a wonderful gallery where they serve amazing coffee. He gained worldwide fame in 1991 by painting a Soviet tank pink that served as a war memorial in central Prague. In the city of Liberec you find another work from Černý: the bus shelter artwork Feast of Giants, a huge breakfast table covered with supersized food.

The Hollies

Wind I will ask my friend if she can put the movie online!


smibe-Substop from Denis Hegic on Vimeo.

Fish Franke

Bruno Taylor

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