The Design Trust unveiled “The Boogie Down Booth” in conjunction with Bronx Rising: Women & Drums Festival, a day-long program of The Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC) celebrating women and percussive traditions in Africa and in NYC. We designed the Booth in partnership with the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), and collaborating with the BMHC of the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco), to transform the dark and noisy area underneath the train tracks in South Bronx. Many thanks go to our Participatory Design Fellow Chat Travieso and Graphic Design Fellow Neil Donnelly who helped make this a reality.
Located at the Freeman Street station and bus stop underneath the 2/5 subway tracks along Southern Boulevard, the Booth provides solar-powered lighting and directional speakers playing Bronx artists’ music – from hip-hop to jazz – for the community users. The community, including the Southern Boulevard Merchant Association, provided guidance on the design and function of the Booth through multiple workshops. The installation serves as a test to make the area a more hospitable place for community residents and visitors and has attracted support from the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) through a competitive Neighborhood Challenge grant.
This temporary resting spot, which will be available for public use through November 18, 2014, is the second prototype for our Under the Elevated project. It’s a citywide effort aimed at developing strategies for maximizing the function, use, and spatial qualities of the millions of square feet of space underneath NYC’s bridges, and elevated highways, subways, and rail lines. The temporary installations like this one will pave the way for a systemic change across the city that will transform the environment around its vast transit infrastructure.
Share your thoughts on how underused areas below elevated transit infrastructure in the Bronx and across the city can be improved. Leave a comment online via email – firstname.lastname@example.org – and social media through using hashtags – #UnderTheElevated and #Bronxmusic.
Read more about “The Boogie Down Booth”.