The Loneliness Smasher
Liang Shan, Lei Yu and Jie Yan / Australia
People born in the floods of technology developments, yet isolated from the mainstream; most people might not agree some ideas with the “smarters”. They were isolated. They can’t unite or find a way out of it, they have lost the ability. They are the Cyber Weirdos. But now, they feel lonely.
Can we destroy loneliness? Someone decided to bring up the attention of it to their AI Life Managers,” Where is the equipment that will destroy the feeling of loneliness? Where are those mighty technology guys?”
And...Booooom! The “THE LONELINESS SMASHER” is born! “Just the price of a box of cereal, you can easily unlock your new loneliness-free life style!” says the broadcast all over the street, “Are you feeling lonely? Try THE LONELINESS SMASHER! Own the most fashionable Cyber equipment of the year and your own room in the center of the metropolis!”.
How to use THE LONELINESS SMASHER:
1. Take deep breath;
2. Open the LONELINESS SMASHER collector’s edition package;
3. Put it on your head, and connect it with your Cyber pivot;
4. Wait for it...
5. And... LONELINESS ELIMINATED!
(Notification to all users: The Loneliness Smasher will be permanently connected to your cyber pivot, once it’s connected, your consciousness will be projected into your own room in the Loneliness Smasher Centre located in the central CBD of the Capital City. You can be anyone, do anything within your space, socializing with real people who visit your room.)
WARNING: Disconnecting the equipment without permission from the system will cause unknown damage to the user!
When people see using this machine, life gets better, it became a trend. For those who are not in the trend, would they feel leftout? Loneliness is a person’s revelry; revelry represents the entire world’s loneliness. Should loneliness be eliminated?
Sameh Ibrahiem Emam / Egypt
In the world of social media and digital connections, the idea which can cure Loneliness must begin in the virtual world first in order to spread and reach as many people as it can.
ROOFMEET is a mobile application which connects the real world with the virtual one by encouraging users to meet each other on the roof of the buildings. Rooftops are special places where one can see the city from above, with new perspective and new point of view. It is a good place to teach people to communicate and to share experiences, and also to play, enjoy, talk, study and connect.
The application uses common activities as a motivation for users to go and try these activities on a new ground with a new view. Then the process of communication after that is very easy for anyone since there is already common ground, so they’ll act normal and will leave the place with one or two new friends.
The application is not only good for lonely people, but also it can work perfectly with social people and it can make the neighborhood more connected and more secure since all the inhabitants know each other.
It can also benefit the city with new public areas made by people and it can make whole new experience for any tourist or new lonely visitor in town who can start many relations in these rooftops.
Arlenys Karina Pino Madera, Daniela Veronica Codecido Castillo, and Maricela Del Valle Navarrete Requena / Venezuela
Humans rely on each other for survival; social interactions have become a necessity for society to survive. The causes of loneliness are many and each person lives and experiences them differently. Even though loneliness has a personal component, external factors could contribute to isolation.
As architects, we believe that cities are the natural habitat for society, becoming a platform that enables or restricts social interactions. High crime rates, poor quality public transportation or lack of public spaces could make a person less willing to go out and interact.
Technology plays an important role in the goal to connect people. However, today’s highly competitive world leave us less time to invest in our emotional and personal well-being, resulting on the use of technology to connect on a superficial way, becoming a platform for meaningless interactions.
Considering the problem under these terms, our proposal relies on two aspects: using technology as a tool to promote social interaction in the city, and turning the need for interaction into interest by motivating people with a benefit.
Through a system that integrates different scales of public spaces and a technological platform, we propose an App that suggests spaces and social activities based on the user's interest and state of mind, each activity will generate “points” that can be exchanged for benefits. The current and future space would adapt to this technology so there’s always integration between virtual and physical space.
ReciproCITY aims to create a system where virtual and physical spaces work together to change the city's dynamics. Relying on data collected through the App, politicians, urban planners, service providers and any other player on the city’s dynamics could change and adapt to the users' social, economic and emotional needs, therefore changing the role cities and technology play on our emotional wellness.
A WALL to Unite
Paris Besinis, Greece
This attempt is a literal new ground for people to circulate on and build their new social foundations, an ephemeral pavillion, an ambulant construction commenting on our daily cases of loneliness.
A metal installation is strictly located between a high circulation road and a public square. On the one hand, the cars, metal private machines for people to perfectly fit into their lonely ambiance, trying to reach their daily destinations as quickly as possible. On the other hand, the public space, a land for people to come together, stay still for a while, exchange social information, has nowadays been misinterpreted into a common passage, a way through ones routine. In between these two circumstances comes a new filter. A new place for people to actually meet one another. An “alien” machine inviting people in from both sides. Drivers are intrigued through this big, curious bilboard invading their miserable trip to work, asking about their hidden truth. “ARE YOU FEELING LONELY ?”. Passengers are triggered by this curtain, these multiple entrances into a possible routine -breaker.
Once inside, visitors are now participants to a triptych of social experiments. The “staircase effect” is an attempt to reinvent the purpose of a typical, passive condo staircase, that people only use to circulate in silence, and turn it into an active mechanism of social familiarization through design. The “actor’s syndrome” is a small public theatre whose unusual way of entering tries to break the wall of discomfiture that usually exists between an actor and his audience. The “bus station story” is a springboard to rethink the geometry and purpose of a common bus station, incorporating into the designing process the human interaction factor, and how can a momentary waiting spot become a chance for people to escape their loneliness.