Julie Hosteing (CRI), Lujia Cha Cha Yang (Harvard), Julio Mendez Cabrera (Harvard), Guillaume Zucman (SciencesPo)
Take a seat. Look around. Count of all the electronic devices you see. Could you do without them? For thousands of Parisians, doing without is not an option.
The Internet plays an essential role in our lives nowadays, but the digital divide prevents the most vulnerable in our society from taking advantage of its benefits. The City of Paris has an extensive Wi-Fi network, but lacks public devices with which to access the Internet. Our project addresses this mismatch in a socially inclusive way.
Street furniture is an effective tool to reach a broad public. Our bench is for more than just sitting — it is retrofitted with tablets that give access to essential online services and promote civic engagement. The bench becomes a hub that transfers information between people, just like synapses facilitate the circulation of information in the brain.