Talking Stumps: Starting Conversations In Public Spaces

One of the biggest problems in huge, hyper-dense places is a receding sense of community. It’s surprisingly hard to get to know people when you live in a large, faceless tenement block.

To play with this idea, Tisch School of the Arts students Lynn Burke, Stefanie Kleinman, and Tak Cheung have created a piece called ‘Branch Out: Start a Conversation with a Stranger’ as part of last month’s spring show. The fine folks at PSFK wrote of the piece is composed of two stump-like structures outfitted with walkie-talkies inside and a button on top that implores the passerby to ‘press to talk’ to a complete stranger on the other side of the park.

‘Branch Out’ is a lovely reminder of the importance of strangers and our interactions with them: most of the people we encounter on a daily basis are completely new to us, and it’s worth remembering that our conversations with them are important, too.

Related Report

We explore the ideas that shape the city of the future