Committee: Parks & Recreation
Location: 4 locations citywide
Short Description: The benches will use recordings designed to facilitate interpersonal interaction between people who would not normally interact. The structures will include instructions and conversation prompts to encourage residents to share perspectives.
Long Description: Modeled after StoryCorps and the “American Therapy” interactive art exhibit, the Conversation Benches will foster dialogue by allowing unacquainted residents to come together to discuss engaging topics. The Benches will include instructions on the purpose and will also contain a pre-set list of topics. This project was designed with a mind toward building a sense of community. The Conversation Benches combine the permanence of StoryCorps facilities with the interpersonal nature of American Therapy. It’s important that we hear each other’s stories and that we be given the opportunity to share our own. The City estimates that each Conversation Bench structure will cost about $15,000.
“American Therapy” interactive art installation at HUBweek (2017):