Preckam Most :: Crossing the Bridge

Interesting things happen at boundaries – points that connect people, places and ideas. Such points raise questions for interaction designers in terms of both process and outcome. Sometimes boundaries are explicit but more often they are implicit and unseen, simply routes that connect places or destinations, often travelled but seldom acknowledged. The Old Drava Bridge in Maribor, Slovenia is one such place – silently connecting the city, but central to the heart of the people and so it was entirely appropriate the bridge became the focus for a piece of work undertaken as part of the Magdalena Festival in May 2009.

An overarching theme of the work was the concept of transitions – the idea of movement and its impact on the body and mind, in particular how this might translate into movement within a city and subsequently sense of place. The Old Drava Bridge in Maribor has provided a crossing point for the people since 1913 so it provided an interesting location for a ‘cultural probe’ that sought to create a playful interaction among the people as they crossed the bridge. The aim being to slow their journey down a little, provide a moment for contemplation and reflection or simply an opportunity to admire the view of the city.

At each end of the bridge people were provided with digital cameras and asked to take a photograph while they crossed the bridge. Suddenly crossing the bridge became a different experience, the act of taking photographs facilitated chance meetings, exchanged glances and made everyday routines a little more memorable and special.

The camera acted as a lens through which people viewed the city and its population. By making the process of taking a picture explicit, participants were made to question and reflect on their choice of image and what it meant to them as an individual and as a citizen of Maribor.

At the conclusion of the project The Old Bridge was re-appropriated as a gallery to exhibit the pictures taken during the previous 2 days. People who had taken photographs returned and walked the bridge to admire the work of the people of Maribor and perhaps hope to see their own contribution. For just a few days the experience of the journey was changed, so something that people do throughout the year – crossing the bridge – was just a little different, somehow more joyful.

Preckam Most was undertaken as part of the Brain Working Workshop in the Magdalena Festival, Maribor, Slovenia.

Participants were:

Marija Juza

Damira Kalajžić

Maša Milovac

Danijel Modrej

Petra Prgomet

Robert Ravnik

Arlon Stok

Željko Šimeg