Friday Fun: Deconstructing Transit With Dance
Recreating  a subway at rush hour through performance art...danse, if you will.

Recreating a subway at rush hour through performance art…danse, if you will. Photo Credit: Aaron Minnick

Maybe we need a better understanding of the human condition if we are going to succeed at improving transit! If you modeled the interior of a crowded Metro train at rush hour, this set of images would you and your friends make. If outside of the Metro, people might look at you strangely, but on the Metro, its completely acceptable.

Something that all art forms strive for is the understanding of the human condition. Post-modern art is very good at taking very ordinary things out of context to highlight a particular idea or emotion. This often creates a more human or emotional response to a situation which may lead to better recognition of a particular issue or a new understanding of an idea.

Erin Cooper, a Research Analyst at EMBARQ -the producer of this blog- wanted to show how this concept, often used in the dance the world, could itself be abstracted and used to take a different look at transit. Dance today take ordinary pedestrian movements and situations from daily life, like transit, in order to build dances, but what if we learn from the arts and deconstruct  the ordinary?

What can we learn about transit and what makes it attractive?

Transit and transportation planning is so often focused on getting from point A to point B that the very human elements of the commute is lost in the whirl of high level discussions about transport finance, increasing capacity, and encouraging people to switch to alternative modes. Here are some new metrics that came out of our experiment. Let us know if they would improve your transit-riding experience!

Top to bottom distance ratio.

 

Graze squeeze ratio.

 

 

Hands in air time.

Measuring headphone noise to drown out the train could offer insight into transit noise pollution.

Measuring headphone noise to drown out the train could offer insight into transit noise pollution.

 

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