Clever design for the #BackyardExperiment

News /
18 April 2017
Clever design for the #BackyardExperiment
During #BackyardExperiment an incredible 631% more children were seen staying and enjoying Garema Place, often later in the evening than usual.

Results are in from the #BackyardExperiment, a pop-up park in Canberra'’s Garema Place designed to test the power of simple design interventions to attract more people to an underused public space. Time-lapse footage has revealed a stunning transformation in visitor numbers and the diversity of people attracted to the place.

WE-EF was one of several organizations led by Street Furniture Australia that held the transformation as part of the AILA 2016 International Festival of Landscape Architecture, in Canberra last October. With more than 600 delegates in attendance, the Festival was the largest gathering of landscape architects in Australia.

Garema Place is a central location in the city of Canberra, a largely concrete and underused open area surrounded by great cafes, shops and workplaces. With its shady trees and prime location, it has the potential to become a much-loved public place, but is mostly used as a thoroughfare.

The pop-up park, designed by landscape architecture firm Context, included movable furniture, yarn-bombed trees, living lawn, free Wi-Fi and book shelves, making the space more colourful, green and inviting.

The space received a second life at night, with WE-EF LED colour projectors turning trees into blue magical creatures and providing enough light for kids to play and grown-ups to lounge on the grass at dark.

The carefully orchestrated lighting design of the pop-up park was done by the ACT Chapter of the Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand and WE-EF Sales Partner in the region, Integral Lighting.

Before #BackyardExperiment, nearly all visitors passed through Garema Place without stopping. During the experiment visitor numbers to the area almost doubled, increasing by 190% in just eight days. The number of people who stayed increased more than twice.

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