Thorunn Arnadottir

Hitchhike. 2010. work in progress

In Johannesburg in South Africa it is quite common to see people making various hand gestures on the side of the road. The gestures are used daily by commuters to ensure they board the right taxi, going in the right direction. Looking at the public transport problem in London and other major cities I noticed that despite the somewhat ‘herded cattle’ atmosphere felt in the underground and bus systems, there is usually only one or two people traveling at any given time in five seater domestic cars. Could some sort of hand signal system be used to utilise the available seats in these cars as an alternative ‘public transport’?

Hand signals could be based on a landmark or social characterisation specific to native locations. This way we can communicate directly and efficiently, our desired direction and end location directly to the passing potential ride. The ‘ticket’ for this kind of system would be a glove to wear on your gesturing hand. The reflective pattern of the glove would make it easier for the user to remember the signals and gestures for each area, as well as making the traveler more visible to drivers in and amongst the traffic. The glove could work like an ‘Oyster Card’ and the participating driver would display a sticker in his window and in exchange be paid in relation to how many passenger he chooses to take on their journeys. The driver might even get exempt from the congestion charge. “-by THORUNN ARNADOTTIR

THORUNN ARNADOTTIR is an Icelandic designer better known for her bead clock created in 2008 (watch here).

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