Kittitash Chaikunpon's project explores the notion of a future for public space in the digital age where technologies and social medias are more pertinent to everyday life.
New Orleans is well known for its vibrant public spaces where streets, parks and plazas are filled with musicians, artists, performers and the ever-persistent vibration of music. However, these characteristics are slowly fading from the urban fabric. The rise of poor design, vandalism and technology have misguided people into using public spaces in a limited way: only for recreation and tourist attraction.
To contest this injustice to urban design, the beacon is designed as an experiment of a new public space in which technology helps strengthen New Orleans' O.C. Haley neighborhood identity and culture through creating a sense of place, community, belonging and wellbeing. The goal is to ensure that heritage is preserved, diversity is protected and creativity is promoted. The beacon will be a platform that provides an interaction amongst people by utilizing the architecture that displays local information and data. During the event of a natural disaster, the beacon becomes an emergency center broadcasting updated news and distributing drinking water to civilians.
In summary, the beacon is a machine that allows people to have access to the world beyond the city while engaging with civic participation in the context of O.C. Haley and the city of New Orleans.
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All images are by Kittitash Chaikunpon and may not be used or reproduced without express written permission of their creator.