Home » Announcements » Gathering Stories: A Talking Bench installation comes to Town
The Talking Bench designed by Andrea Bertassi and Cristina Murphy was set up in Austin. (Courtesy Photo)
The Talking Bench designed by Andrea Bertassi and Cristina Murphy was set up in Austin. (Courtesy Photo)

Gathering Stories: A Talking Bench installation comes to Town

A new  ‘story bench’ project, designed by XCOOP architects Cristina Murphy and Andrea Bertassi,  is coming to town in April where it will be showcased at the local health fair and later at the Center for the Arts. 

“We believe that knowing about a place comes through stories and shared experiences, ” says Murphy , whose passion for community engagement and talking to people became legendary during her assignment in Globe as part of the Taliesen Globe-Miami Studio Project.

She and Bertassi led the first studio project in Globe-Miami and many will recall their efforts to imbed themselves and their students in our community. They did this in ways both great and small;  showing up at town halls as well as kitchen tables, where Murphy says they simply wanted to “wring out as much understanding about the community as they could.”

Since leaving Taliesen in May of 2016, they have taken up residency in Tucson where they lecture at the University of Arizona. There, they continue to pursue their passion for building relationships with those around them which help inform their professional efforts.

The idea of the Talking Bench was to design a tool which could be used to gather stories.

“We believe that knowing about a place comes through stories and shared experience,” says Murphy.

“Through the recording and sharing of residents’ stories, we believe the installation will contribute to improving the environment and building a foundation for shared community identity.  Exchanging local knowledge will promote deeper regional understanding and a sense of long-term collective responsibility.”

 The two architects will be hosting the Talking Bench at the upcoming Health Fair and look forward to having residents and visitors contribute their personal stories and anecdotes. 

Later in the month, they will install the Talking Bench at the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts where they also plan to host a short three-hour workshop in which they will illustrate the meaning of the bench and share ideas on how participants can activate spaces and build community engagement.  They are aiming for 25 – 30 participants and hope their efforts will spark local initiative to do a similar project.

Bertassi and Murphy have also applied for additional grant funding to do two extra installations in the area and hope they can see things happening in Globe and Miami on a regular basis. 

“Each and every one of our installations is highly interactive and carries on a very simple concept: to bring people together to share local experiences,” says Murphy.

 

Andrea Bertassi and Cristina Murphy. Photo by LCGross

 The Bench will be at the Cobre Valley Regional Health Fair on April 1 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.   and the moved to the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts where it will be on display from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. from April 8 through the 18th. 

 

  

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.