TALKBOX
LOCATION / N/A
PHASE / COMPLETED 2015
SIZE / N/A

SHoP is always looking for ways to give back to New York City. In close collaboration with the flagship public radio station WNYC, SHoP developed a prototype for a nontraditional outreach platform. The goal, supported by a grant from the Knight Foundation, was to create an easily reproducible system that could be adopted by other public radio stations as a means to involve underrepresented audiences in their programming. Housed within a standard aluminum payphone enclosure, the TalkBox can be installed directly on city streets. By simply lifting the handset, non-listeners are drawn into and empowered to participate in the important civic conversations that otherwise take place only on-air. SHoP worked directly with the editorial and technical teams at WNYC to create a robust and inviting presence for the TalkBox, as well as the integration of back-end technologies and the design of a compelling and unintimidating audio-prompted user experience. Then SHoP turned to their own in-studio Fab Lab to create and assemble components for the prototype. The TalkBox was deployed for the first time in July, 2015. Installed in the St. George terminal of the Staten Island Ferry, it was used to solicit community reactions on the anniversary of Eric Garner's death.