Social Buttons

Social Buttons is a permanent interactive installation, facilitating social interaction for older affordable housing tenants. The work is installed at Brisbane Housing Company's Caggara House.

Social Buttons is a combination of supergraphic, interactive web-based installation, and relational artwork focused on the process of bringing people together.

Social Buttons fosters social agency by enabling self-directed social opportunities with an extremely simple-to-use system for tenants to organise their own group outings and events.

The work also aims to destigmatise the relationship between seniors and technology.

Workshop consultations determined what the tenants wanted to do together. The installation presents these options as illuminated scrolling texts on giant wall-mounted buttons in the building's common area. In the first button the tenant chooses 'What' (ie. picnic), this triggers a list of relevant 'Where' options in the second button, which when selected (ie. local park) triggers an option for 'When' (ie. week day) in the final third button.

These interactions are relayed to an online database, and at the end of each month the most chosen event sequence is automatically texted to tenants' phones. Then depending on the nature of the event, transport is organised by the housing organisation.

With thanks to Richard Candy for help with fabrication, Christian Duell for help with the workshops, and Mat Johnson, as always, for programming. Special thanks to BHC and of course Caggara House tenants.

Photography by Stefan Jannides.

Also read more about the project on Design Online.

See launch images here.