Abandoned Phone Booth Re-Purposing

The idea of the public payphone as a mechanism to link two people and facilitate interaction presents a unique opportunity. We are proposing to reinterpret the interaction from a two way verbal communication mechanism to a mechanism that encourages play as physical communication. The image of children using two tin cans and a string as a makeshift telephone - both a toy and a tool simultaneously - leads to the retro-activating of the phone booth from a tool back to a toy, but in the transformation the distinction is blurred and made irrelevant. It is both things simultaneously.

The goal of the installation is to activate the area by reinventing the phone booth as a see-saw.The El Chilito site on Manor Rd. provides the ideal place for this reinvention. The site is a gathering place for both young fashionable people and families.The corner location is a north-south / east-west crossing point in a part of Austin that is itself being reinvented. The El Chilito sign as the installation location provides a visual counter point to the outdoor seating area, an ideal place for meeting and people watching. The playful nature of the sign relates with ease to both the visual and physical aesthetics of the moustache see-saw.

The material choice for the see-saw will be the repuposed phone booth, play sand, recycled wood and steel.The chosen materials are meant to evoke memories of playgrounds with their benefits of durability, economy and opportunity for recyclability.
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  1. Just to clarify, are you saying that families by El Chilito aren't fashionable?

  2. Well, you are one of the few exceptions Garreth. BTW, our proposal was accepted!! We've been so busy building the see saw, that we forgot to mention it on here. Installation will be finished tomorrow night and will be a part of EAST. The opening party is Saturday at 3:00 pm at El Chilito. There will be a bike ride around East Austin to view the other installations as well. Come out, bring a bike - including a little side cart if you have one.