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How Many Stops?

Posted by Will Hudson,

“Walk fatty, you might pass a cake shop” is the last piece of advice you’d expect to be told when checking the bus times but Three Green Dots, a London based design platform are looking at how the public use the London Bus Network and asking the question, “How many stops are you making today?” through a clever sticker campaign.

With the emphasis being on the social benefits opposed to the physical we went in search of more information…

Morning Three Green Dots, How many stops? How did it come about?

The project evolved simply by observing people’s use of the London Bus Network and evaluating whether or not it is productive to our sense of well being, the emphasis focused on the social benefits as opposed to the physical. Coming from an architectural background, I have been involved in researching the ways in which people engage with the fabric of the inner city and believe it is important that people should interact within that physical space, rather than simply operate in an auto pilot, automated fashion. As a landscape architect I am aware that space becomes a premium and we should enhance and preserve the balance of urban living by creating adequate spaces for people to enjoy and socialise. Walking is by far the simplest means of doing this.

Without laboring the obvious benefits of walking – ‘How many stops?’ – with a lighthearted approach, intends to highlight the social advantages of walking. By just changing a daily pattern our senses can be reintroduced to constantly changing sound, views and social interactions. Introducing a little humour to the day is one of the simplest ways of engaging with people.

Where can we find them?

The initial installation was centred on Oxford St and the surrounding area. This location was specifically chosen to highlight the current congestion problems in this area. Nose to tail buses are causing major problems to both shoppers and traders, and the location emphasises the need to re-assess this congestion situation.

What has the response been?

The overall response to the project has been very positive. Whilst working out and about on the streets of London, I have witnessed peoples’ reaction to the project first hand, it is rewarding to introduce a little humour into the day and get the message across.

I would like to point out that the project is not targeted against bus transport. The idea is to encourage the public to question their use of public transport in general. London Transport stops were selected as a medium to convey this message. There is no intention to be offensive, on the contrary, as stated above, it is hoped that a little humour will be introduced within the messages. It would have been nice to get a response from TFL itself, but I’m sure they do not want to draw attention to subversive projects targeting their signage.

There is never enough feedback in my opinion, so if you have any comments on the project, please let threegreendots know as this will help with taking the project forward.

Where do you hope to take ‘How many stops?’

‘How many stops?’ is hoping to continue playing with the idea of graphical mimicry. To this end threegreendots is in the process of developing ideas and possibly an event to highlight the social benefits of walking in the city in order to change daily patterns that too often have become entrenched through habit.

You must have favourite bus journeys in London though?

Don’t get me wrong I love a good bus ride, especially sitting up on the top deck. It opens up a whole new vista of London, Being at a higher vantage point allows you to view things that you would otherwise miss. However, buses are restricted mainly to the major arteries of the city, if you walk you have the opportunity to duck down alleyways, walk the back streets, engage with London, sights, sounds and smells and exercise at the same time!

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Posted by Will Hudson

Will founded It’s Nice That in 2007 and is now director of the company. Once one of the main contributors to the site he has stepped back from writing as the business has expanded. He is a regular guest on the Studio Audience podcast.