Amidst the squeaks, creaks and groans of trains rushing by and people chattering, listen closely and you’ll soon be able to hear birds, leaves and gushing streams. But those sounds aren’t real; they’re part of a proposed installation to bring nature back to New York’s underground at the 96th Street and Broadway stop.
Using a combination of localized environmental nature sounds and Japanese anime-inspired flower sculptures, Antenna Designs, the firm behind the installation, wants us to think about the New York that used to be here, back in the time of the Dutch, while we go about our present-day New York activities.
Antenna Designs, also brought us the new subway car and MetroCard kiosk redesigns, so they at least know what they’re doing.
The project reminds me of the interactive sound installation at 34th Street-Herald Square, Christopher Janney’s “Reach New York, an Urban Musical Instrument,” where riders can play with sensors that activate sounds. It got annoying after a while, especially while waiting 20 minutes for a train at 2am and I don’t think it works that well anymore. Let’s see how this exhibit fares after a week, and whether people will even notice the sounds.
(Image courtesy Antenna, Urbahn Architects)