Playful projects to keep George St busy

Monocle—Musical Furniture project director Jess Covell tests an armchair destined to become a...
Monocle—Musical Furniture project director Jess Covell tests an armchair destined to become a secret drum kit in the next round of the Dunedin Dream Brokerage’s Platform Project. PHOTO: CHRISTINE O’CONNOR.
A sense of playfulness is hoped to fill the heart of Dunedin as a scavenger hunt and a set of musical furniture are set to come to George St.

The projects are the latest result of the Dunedin Dream Brokerage’s Platform Project which is bringing art installations to the CBD to entice people into the city during the Dunedin City Council’s upgrade of the busy shopping street.

Two projects received money in the second and final round of funding for the programme.

The first of those is The Secret Path, an interactive scavenger hunt throughout George St, which is receiving $13,158.

The hunt, which runs from April 16 to 30, will have people tasked with examining artworks and solving puzzles secreted throughout retail and hospitality venues up and down the street.

Solving the puzzles, which are designed to be tackled by children with a touch of adult help, will provide them with the password to a secret "Klubhaus" where the successful will receive a reward for their cunning.

The second project to receive funding is Monocle—Musical Furniture, which will take up residency in an unoccupied George St store in May, coinciding with New Zealand Music Month.

The store will be furnished like a simple lounge scene, but first glimpses may be deceptive.

All the furniture will in fact be interactive musical instruments for visitors to play with.

The chairs, tables, rugs and other items on display will produce a variety of oscillations, squeaks, drones, chirps and other sounds for people to make music with.

Central city project director Dr Glen Hazelton said he had appreciated how the city’s creative practitioners had embraced the opportunity to bring a different kind of life to the area.

"We’ll be watching to see how people respond to these projects as we continue the infrastructure renewal works and seek to make George St a safer and more welcoming place for a more diverse range of visitors."

Funding for the Platform Project comes from the budget for the council’s central city upgrade project.

A total of $43,000 was shared between the four projects that won funding from the initiative.

The two projects from the first round of funding, birdsong installation Tu atu, tu mai — he karaka manu ki ka manuhiri and lighting installation The Rainbow Aurora are now in place in George St.

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