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University of New South Wales

Ivy Chen, Kai Jun Ng, Jonathan Tang, Celine Til, Katrina Wu

Urban loneliness is right under our noses at Martin Place, which currently functions as a passageway, as opposed to the original intention for it to be “a ceremonial, social and recreational hub” (City of Sydney, 2010).

Our scheme, Meet Me in the Middle, empowers people to share their opinions and fosters a gateway to meaningful conversations in this space, whether they’re between strangers or friends.

The name of the scheme a double entendre that reflects two objectives in creating a social hub. The first is to provide a green space for people to congregate and interact. The second is to create a safe platform for individuals to share their thoughts on enduring topics like love, ethics and culture. The aim is to foster mutual respect, regardless of differences in opinions.

The infrastructure has recording technology built into the walls for people to speak their minds inside a semi-private space. These opinions are simultaneously broadcast for people to listen from the other side.

Special sensors attached to the speakers register how many people hang around when a specific comment is played. They preserve those that attract the largest audience and recycle the rest into ambient music played in the green resting space above.