Chatty Bench Project

Project dates: 01/07/2020 - 31/12/2021


Inspired by Pokémon Go and with the aim of combatting social isolation, the Chatty Bench Project is a community collaboration between KGUV PBC, Communify, Village Church & QUT Design Lab. This project is inspired by Communify’s “Happy-to-Chat” bench (see ‘Issues Addressed’), where the bench is not just for sitting and resting but also a place to interact, learn about other community members and build connections. Storytelling forms a critical component of building these connections. The project brings together digital, playful and locative stories of Kelvin Grove Urban Village where one engages in hybrid (physical and digital) placemaking. The project was initially planned to run in face-to-face workshops to create the low-tech AR stories with the placemaking activity of painting benches to highlight them as key story nodes. With COVID-19, the project went completely online with a focus on creating the digital stories and the painting of the benches was postponed. The project ran from July-October 2020 on Google Classroom, Zoom and Hubs by Mozilla. The 16 storytellers of KGUV came together in a co-creative and participatory fashion to create situated digital stories that can be experienced in KGUV using a smartphone. The stories aim to give insight into the lives of those living in the area and include themes of migration, seeking asylum, the first day on campus, love of dancing, anxiety, domestic violence, the experience of studying at QUT, racism, and many more. The digital stories are completely made by the storytellers and involved them learning interactive fiction (Twine), digital storytelling and locative technology. The project is situated in the Kelvin Grove Urban Village and uses its many landmarks and places as engagement locations. All the participants and stakeholders met face-to-face for the first time during the community exhibition in October 2020.

Team Members:

External Partners:

  • Cait Wildman, Community Development Project Coordinator, Communify
  • Sam McGeown, Senior Pastor, Village Church Kelvin Grove Urban Village Principal Body Corporate


Funding / Grants

  • Kelvin Grove Urban Village Principal Body Corporate Funding (2019 - 2020)