My thesis is inspired by Instruction Set for Strangers – a project in my first semester where we were supposed to create an interface that will get two strangers to interact with each other in a public space. The Alamo was a precedent for this and so I went back to the Alamo for inspiration and to let my mind fly.

Here are my observations:

  • A couple, a group of friends, and grandpa and his kid – they all interacted with the cube as they walked past it – they were not strangers to each other, and they did not seem like tourists. They seemed to know exactly what to do.
  • A young boy took pics of the cube in all directions but didn’t touch it
  • Tourists are so typical to spot – they have maps, cameras and they seem confused and curious.
  • Another young man moved the cube in all four directions, while an older man tried it alone and he could not move it.

The Alamo is now more than just an interactive art piece. Yet, this is not specifically designed to get two strangers to interact with each other. The Alamo itself is stranger no more. Nonetheless, it was interesting to just chill at Astor Place and observe people react around the Alamo. Ironically, right next to the Alamo, are people sitting, relaxing and staring at their screens, without giving a damn about the Alamo, the neighborhood, and the interactions between people. They may be people that come here regularly, and even if so, it looked like a sad state of affairs.