How Environment Affects Behaviour – Piano Stairs

I just came across this great little video.  Apparently some folks at Volkswagon are working on a project called The Fun Theory, trying to get people to behave differently by making their environment interactive. Project one was the “Piano Stairs” in Stockholm.  Check it out.

Aside from the fact that VW seems to have mastered the purpose built viral video, this project touches on so many other points.  Not the least of which is that our environments affect our lives.  Now, I’m not saying that we should need a piano on every set of stairs to keep us from getting lazy, but an example like this supports the growing trend for Architects, and Designers to really consider how people will interact with the spaces they are creating.

I take the stairs most times. Usually (and especially in airports) it’s faster because there is so much less traffic, and I don’t mind the exercise. But, if these stairs were on my regular commute, I would be practicing a new tune every day so I could show off on my way to the train!  Really, this is public art, but it’s presented integrated into the architecture. Another great example of art meets architecture that engages the public is Cloud Gate, more commonly known as the ‘Chicago Bean’.

Obviously the piano stairs were designed as marketing for VW, but while looking for an idea that would be interesting enough to go viral, they hit on a vital concept: We are connected to the places, things, and people around us. If those relationships can improve our lives and experiences, even better. So, take a look around you.

I’m not usually prone to linking to corporate advertising, but VW’s ‘The Fun Theory’ has earned this one. Here’s the link so you can follow along.