Posters at bus stops in Manchester that people could respond to by text message.
The posters asked people to share their answer to the question “Where were you happiest to arrive and why?” by text message, and to read other people's answers, again by text.
There was an amazing range of things sent in, recording moments in people's lives that were everything from sunny to devastating.
And this little bit of Zen philosphy:
It was the depth and honesty of these messages, which were just sent off into the air anonymously, which started to get me thinking about how connections by messaging, even with organisations rather than personal friends, could be good for people's state of mind.
This led on to lots of applications of Thumbprint for health and wellbeing.
It started to be clear as well that there is a qualitative difference between what people get from messaging and from social media.
The same Where Were You Happiest to Arrive approach was rediscovered in a later project called Hello Lampost, by a design agency called PAN Studio.
This is Hello Lampost at a bus stop, with Where Were You Happiest to Arrive images for reference.
The description of the project
"Hello Lamp Post is an interactive system that gives everyone in Bristol a new tool to talk with each other, through prompts and questions"
and the "inspiration" the designers describe
"The inspiration for Hello Lamp Post came about by combining two ideas. The first was that the city can be thought of as a diary that one walks through"
echoes that of City Poems (2003).
What is clever about Hello Lampost is using the identifier codes on street furniture. That's nice.