Interactive Social Design Installation Engages Riders to
Leave Positive Messages of Inspiration
June 8 Through October 9
Flux Projects, Atlanta Design Festival, and MARTA Artbound join forces to bring back critically acclaimed Dutch design collaborators Bouke Bruins and Wouter Corvers for Railtalk-Re-Connect, their site-specific, interactive social design installation that engages riders to leave positive messages of inspiration. First launched at two stations in 2019 for nine days, this year Railtalk-Re-Connect will expand to seven stations and continue for five months, starting Wednesday, June 8 and culminating during the Atlanta Design Festival, October 1 – 9.
The intersection of public art, design and public transit presents the opportunity to create unexpected interactions between travelers and provide entertainment as people wait for trains and buses. In 2019, over 23,000 riders experienced Railtalk with more than 4,000 leaving messages in just nine days. With this year’s extended run and additional stations, organizers aim to further enhance the MARTA experience.
“MARTA stations are amazing public spaces that serve people of all walks of life,” says Flux Projects Executive Director Anne Dennington. “With Railtalk-Re-Connect we are especially excited to engage and connect people across the metro area in stations that are north, south, east, and west of the city.”
Railtalk-Re-Connect will present riders with magnetic letters so that they can freely form texts on metal surfaces. It is meant to encourage interaction and facilitate a collaborative creative process that allows multiple stakeholders to take part in the ridership experience.
Riders can participate at the North Springs, Doraville, Lindbergh Center, West End, College Park, H.E. Holmes, and Indian Creek stations.
“This project aims to create unexpected interactions between transit riders and provide entertainment for those waiting for their train or bus,” said MARTA’s Art in Transit Director Katherine Dirga. “We’ve been through a lot these past two years and I think we could all use some words of encouragement or even a good laugh. I hope everyone takes a moment in their travels to have some fun with Railtalk-Re-Connect.”
“Railtalk-Re-Connect is an important social design project for MARTA and their ridership” said Atlanta Design Festival’s Co-Founder, Elayne DeLeo. “MARTA is critically important to the economic and social health of Atlanta; it benefits those who choose to ride, as well as those who have no other choice. Railtalk-Re-Connect is an interactive and unexpected experience for riders from differing neighborhoods, cultures and economic strata, giving them an opportunity to publicly express their ideas, thoughts, and feelings while on their way to work or play. We look forward to seeing the results of the project and its impact on the rider experience.”
Bruins and Corvers form an energetic maker combination. While Bruins focuses with his Boy Scout Designer mentality on creating dialogue through playful interventions, Corvers has his focus on accessibility for all. Both have independent studios and collaborate to push and find bigger challenges in public space. With Railtalk-Re-Connect they want to create a dialogue between travelers by giving an analog canvas where they can share their thoughts, show their passion for language, explain their daily habits or express compassion for global challenges.
“We strive to promote as much interaction as possible between all layers of society, the more diverse the better,” said Bruins and Corvers.
Organizers hope that riders will find their favorite spot at their MARTA station, share a beautiful message and reconnect.