A Caring Addition

November 14, 2018

Artboard 2

The subway system in Stockholm is expanding. The municipality believes in it as a feasible future means of transportation and therefore choose to invest into it. So, the caretaking will continue. If the capacity of the subway grows, which it must in order to accommodate the commuters of today and tomorrow, there might be a need to further expand the ventilation system and rebuild the outlet.

Until that day comes, we can acknowledge what the ventilation inlet has turned into. An enigmatic concrete object, anonymous in its appearance, still dominating the pavement on which it resides. A plateau of repose.

We could acknowledge its functionality as this by adding simple and discrete, still, efficient designs that invites people to have a more comfortable experience of the object. An insulated surface to sit on facing the crossroad and kiosks as well as a bar or rail stretching along the bike lane, mounted on the curb or the concrete structure to allow bike commuters to put down their foot in a less acrobatic manner then before. Although people use the inlet as a foot support, it is still quite high up, demanding a tall and/or flexible and stable commuter to utilize it. The rail is inspired by an existing need and desire on site, building on top of what is already proven a frequently occurring behavior on site.

The bench is not a full-fledged bench. It is a few add-ons that supports the person in the utilization of the inlet as a bench. The rail that the cyclist rests their foot on is also used by bodies in repose to reposition their feet on. Whether they are sitting on top of the inlet or standing next to it, there will be a small support encouraging this action. On top of the structure, a gentle angle casted from fine concrete with a super smooth and waxed surface, repels the rain and make the surface more inviting to dwell on.

These little additions might be hard to motivate. People will sit there anyways during summer and not during winter. Cyclists will continue ride their bikes, with or without a designed foot rail. But the idea is that this little gesture will bring into light the act of caring as a method to reveal dormant potentials within invisible infrastructures and the ways in which we interact with them.

by August Persson

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