Wereldplek / 2011 / Lewenborg School Boulevard / commission / CBK Groningen

Three large stools are spread out across the boulevard in front of a new combined preparatory vocational/vocational school. They are dotted along a diagonal axis across the entire length of the boulevard.  


Around each stool are twelve smaller stools that look as if they have been positioned at random. The large stools are made of concrete, and in terms of their proportions are an exact 1:65 scale enlargement of the smaller stools. The smaller stools are made of galvanised steel, and are anchored to the ground.   


The stools are based on a design by Alvar Aalto. The Aalto Foundation lent their support to the project.  


The three larger stools act as special Wi-Fi hotspots. Students can use their smartphones or laptops within a 10-metre radius around each large stool in order to communicate with one another or others using a special internet app. A brightly-coloured light shines from the underside of each of the larger stools.


The light is one of four colours, and periodically changes. Each light colour corresponds to one of four different internet functions. The colour of the light indicates which stool is carrying out which function at a certain time. These functions allow students to take part in an old-fashioned chatroom, play music from their own smartphone on the speakers in the stools, read current youth news and, if the red light is on, browse the web without restrictions.  


Every 15 minutes, the stools’ lights (and therefore their functions) change randomly. However, students can extend their time by correctly answering questions that appear on their smartphones.