WATG, in conjunction with Ludwig Tewksbury of Tewksbury Design have set out to redesign the Singapore bus stop as a means to introduce new technologies and micro-climates in the everyday life of its residents and visitors.
In Singapore today, bus stops are utilitarian and without identity. They provide little protection from the sun whereas the green areas adjacent benefit from tree canopies and trunks adorned with epiphytic plants which cool the air.
We imagine the ‘Living Bus Stops' of the future - ‘Living' in respect of their form and their role in society.
By optimising the benefits of new manufacturing technologies and the ability we now have to customize without a large impact on cost, we can create a framework for nature, technology, and individual communities to provide us with a destination that embraces a human scale micro climate, engages interactive technology, and celebrates a community by allowing them to be the main contributors to the components
Three dimensional printed ‘bark' can emulate the near infinite surface area and texture of the natural form which allows epiphytic plants like ferns, bromeliads and orchids to take hold and propagate. Panels that included e-paper technology would be included into the stops as information and interactive displays. Solar technology will allow the tree like structure to power any energy absorbing components such as the interactive displays and introduction of mobile charging portals.
With the advancements in 3D printing, communities will have the opportunity to contribute to individual bus stops within their neighbourhoods. Downloading the general specifications of individual panels and altering them with their own design to be add to a local stop, people become the creators of the place and gain a sense of ownership, In specific locations, stops will act as wayfinding structures as they take on the identity of the community (i.e. Little India or Chinatown) through hyper-customized panels and the introduction of specific plant types that would be inspired by the individual location.
The metamorphosis of the bus stop draws attention immediately. As the panels are erected by hand, and the influence of plants, information, and identity take hold, people start to chat more as they wait for the next bus. Soon pedestrians start to use the stop as a place to cool down and socially interact with people they see everyday. Within five years, other plants will have started to colonise the ecology printed screens which are now thick with competing vegetation, including a banyan tree seedling which grows through like a birds nest sending its aerial roots down the sides of the canopy. The technology panels have taken new form and are updated often to stay up-to-date with the rapidly progressing enhancements in the tech world.
Over time each stop will evolve with the changing world and the communities in which it belongs to, always acting as a public representative of people, their creativity, the environment, and the advancements of technology.
View the submission here.