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Alone Together

Alone Together

Alone Together

Research centre
Art and Design Research Centre


The Social Life of Benches

Esther Johnson's film, Alone Together: the Social Life of Benches illuminates the thoughts and memories of frequent users of two public spaces in London: General Gordon Square, Woolwich and St Helier Open Space, Sutton.

Revolving around the micro-space of the humble bench, the emotional and experiential capacity of film is used as an instrument to highlight themes such as the feeling of being in a space, the rhythm and flow of visitors to a place, and the importance of everyday design.

The film acts like a stranger who joins you on a bench to 'watch the world go by' and break the ice by starting a conversation with their fellow bench user.

Part of collaborative AHRC research The Bench Project that explores how individuals and groups use public space.

Supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council Connected Communities programme.

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