community · creativity · design · environment · play · Social

Buses converted to portable public art spaces

After all the great stories about zoos adapting their spaces for their animals I’ve stumbled across recently, I was starting to feel a little sad for us humans. Thankfully, here’s another story I found from Inhabitat about re-purposing spaces for human play:

On the Plaza Luis Cabrera in Mexico City, two 1960’s Mitsubishi trolleybuses have been permanently parked for public use as part of a larger arts initiative in the Roma, Condesa and Hipodromo districts of Mexico City. The gutted and repurposed trolleys currently serve the city as vibrant spaces that engage residents and visitors in new art and cultural activities.

The vintage rides, which were donated to Mexico City by the government of Japan in the year 2000, were originally used to host the Galeria Trolebus initiative — a space used to showcase non-traditional art projects. Today the repurposed busses are public spaces for everyone to enjoy. On weekends and afternoons, visitors may stumble upon sculpture arts, free theater, music workshops, as well as concerts. The cultural activities on the trolleybuses even help to activate adjacent public parks, encouraging locals to take advantage of the ample and free space right before their eyes.

In order to keeps things dynamic, each month the buses on Plaza Luis Cabrera are re-painted in mural styles, with bright colors and bold prints by artists, community members and advertisers who volunteer their talents.

In brilliant fashion, the city has come up with a community-sustaining way to keep an outdated trolleybus model in style and out of the junkyard!

What a great reuse of an item, that is dynamic and allows the public to truly get creative together.

Dia de los Muertos

I think this is a great holiday and needs to be observed by more people.
For those out of the know, it is a holiday in Mexico that is part of Halloween but is a little different. While Halloween and November 1st are days to honor all departed souls in general (and little kids are honored on the 1st), November 2 is a day to pay your respects to specific family members and friends who have died in the past few years. It’s supposed to be about honoring and celebrating the person rather than mourning that they’re gone. People put up alters with candles, sweets, or the person’s favorite things, or they’ll put out an extra plate of food at the dinner table, or go visit the grave and leave flowers and food and pour some favorite beverage (usually alcohol-based) onto the person’s grave. Sometimes the whole family will have a picnic at the gravesite.
But as for us non-Spanish Catholics, in this age I think it’s a good holiday because it allows us to slow down and think back on lost loved ones and remember why those people were awesome, and for people who do believe it lets them feel closer to the deceased, like a reunion of sorts. It’s like a very odd family reunion or Christmas party.
I didn’t make an alter, but I did put up La Catrina at work (a famous symbol of dia de los muertos), and have been thinking about my Aunt Peg and John Grandpa. I think they’d both appreciate a nod on this holiday.