"The Hangout" is an interactive installation based in the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans that promotes communal play through sight, sound, and touch. The concept of "The Hangout" came about from visiting the Lower ninth a few years ago when we traveled there doing pop-up installations. We saw a strong lack of communal spaces for kids post Katrina. The neighborhoods were rebuilding and there was a strong since of community, but minimal places to play and engage with one another. So we wanted to design a playable oasis where people can simply hangout. When looking for a location we focused on spaces that were used on a daily basis by the community. This site is right next to the only grocery store, laundry mat, and barber shop in the community post Katrina. It is also a bus stop for adults and the kids school bus stop in the morning.
The cylinders were designed in clusters to encourage group interaction. We used touch sensor technology to allow the cylinders to create sound when touched. This technology allows users to create music and sounds like playing a giant dj midi pad. The area has minimal lights at night so we wanted the installation to illuminate to create a safe place for kids to wait for their bus in the morning, and play at night.