Summer Semester 2020, BA/MA Product Design Hochschule

Kieztalk

How can a place tell its own story? You move to a new area and want to find out what’s going on. You might have lived here for a while but still don’t know much about the history and culture of your local area. Many others stay living in one place for a long time, and have accumulated a lot of stories to share and tell.

 

KiezTalk provides a way to redistribute this local knowledge, sharing random snippets that depict the profile of a local area. Stories are told by residents, for residents, helping locals become true locals. The Kieztalk apparatus encourages a spontaneous interaction.This initiative complements the offering of local museums, providing a means to record local history, on a word-of-mouth basis.

 

The neoanalog Kieztalk device combines high-tech with classic analog gestures - reminiscent of a paper cup and string telephone, the truncated cone serves as both the speaker and microphone. Locals stumble upon the device, mounted in a bustling street location. As users hold the cone to their ear, they hear audio recorded by other locals. Turn the cone around and they can share their own story. Users are free to record whatever content they like: ‘Speech-to-text’ software allows the audio to be automatically filtered according to key words. The Kieztalker is designed to be super-local, so users record stories about anything within sight. The device looks neutral, so Kieztalk easily blends into any local area: however the stories contained within are what make it individual. Instead of ‘broadcasting’ the information, Kieztalk ‘narrow-casts’: the stories recorded on Kieztalk can only be heard by one person at a time, and the shuffle mode means the content is rarely repeated in the same order. This way this valuable ‘insider info’ remains somewhat exclusive, only available to individuals who happen to be nearby.

 

Kieztalk aims to strengthen the sense of community and represent the true diversity of life in urban areas. Stories collected over time can be archived in local museums, preserving the recent history of a place. It’s people who make the city what it is, so it’s only right that the story of a place is told by those who know it best.

Project categorySemester Project Project subjects BA/MA Product Design
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Kieztalk

All rights reserved Antonia Nandori