A couple of weeks ago my friend Sally sent me a message with a link to a project called ‘Hello Lamp Post’ saying, ‘I saw this and thought of you’.
It’s not surprising that it made her think of me given my tics’ fascination with the lamp-post I can see from my bedroom window. I chat to it every night – sometimes I’m rude to it but at other times I’m quite friendly.
One of the things I enjoy most about having Tourettes is when my tics start dialogues with everyday objects. ‘Hello Lamp Post’ takes the idea of conversing with your surroundings to the next level and gives everyone the chance to enjoy interacting with what’s around them.
The project launches in Bristol today and is citywide. Here’s the basic idea:
You identify an ordinary bit of street furniture that you want to chat to.
You send a text to wake it up, using its pre-existing code (usually a maintenance number).
It replies, asks you questions, and relays what other people have said to it.
It’s not just because it involves chatting to lamp-posts that this project appeals to me. What I like as well is that it encourages people to slow down and interact with what’s around them, and that it connects people to the city and to each other in new ways.
If you’re in Bristol or visiting, give it a try, and please do tell us how you got on by leaving a comment below. Say hello to a lamp-post for me.