So this was the fun day….not that all days aren’t fun at Designing Dublin. But some are more fun than others and this was one of them. We each had to pitch 20 of our ideas to the team. We had three minutes to do it in. It was very Dragon’s Den-esque.
After our pitch the team voted as to what idea of the twenty they liked the most. They voted for the idea by placing a white sticker on the post-it. The task we were given was to prototype one of the ideas that had a sticker on it. We had 4hrs to prepare and another 4hrs to put it the idea into action. The idea that I ran with was :
This was the idea I considered the most realiseable in the 4hrs we were given. I couldn’t see myself standardising bus fares around the city or creating a ‘Greenlight District’ in Dublin in 4hrs.
As this was a prototype I chose 6 stops on the Luas red line in the central 1 area. I spent the morning researching interesting historical tid-bits on Heuston Station, Collins Barracks, Smithfield, The Four Courts, Jervis and Abbey Street.
The information I researched were these little known facts-
“Heuston Station is named after Sean Heuston who died aged 25 in 1916. Heuston, a railway clerk, led a group of 26 volunteers in the 1916 rising. He and his small garrison held off 300 British troops, buying much needed time for his compatriots fighting in the city. His orders were to hold off the British soldiers for 4 hours. He held for 2 days.”
“Before its conversion as a museum in 1997 Collins Barracks was the oldest inhabited barracks in Europe, and also one of the largest. It was built in the year 1702.”
“Smithfield was the home of Dublins oldest workhouse. During the 170 years that it operated the premises housed 10’037 orphans. It closed its doors in July 1969, never to be opened again.”
“Four Courts gets its name from the courts of Chancery, Kings Bench, Exchequer, and Common Pleas which were housed there in the 1900′s. The legal system was completely changed in the late 1900′s, abolishing the four courts, but the name stuck.”
“Before becoming a shopping centre in 1996, 14 Jervis Street was the mansion of the Earl of Charlemont. In 1796 six Dublin doctors used their own money to turn it into a hospital after reaching an agreement with the Earl.”
“George Frideric Handel, the German born composer, lived on Abbey Street in the summer of 1741. That summer he composed his ‘Messiah’ which would be considered by many as one of his most famous works.”
Then I went to the stops and stuck up the signs that I had made.
I was very happy with the amount of attention the signs were getting. Immediately after putting up the signs a crowd gathered to read them. One lady at Smithfield stop, said to me that she had never known that Smithfield had a workhouse. She had grown up in Smithfield and has lived there her entire life. She thanked me for telling her about it. Just that alone made me feel that what I had done was worthwhile and it re-enforced my view that more should be done to educate people about their surroundings. The benefits of this idea is two fold in my view. By educating people to the history of their surroundings I believe people garner a certain respect for the area that was previously non-existent, the other benefit (if the idea was grown to include bus stops) is that people would know where they are in the city. I have no clue why bus stops don’t have a stop announcement or why there are no signs displaying what stop you are at.