A typical advertisement for a nature nonprofit is plastered with forested mountains or fields of flowers. But when a London designer was given the assignment to reconnect city dwellers with nature, he took a different approach: Instead of showing idyllic vistas, he reminded people what it felt like to have more space.
As pedestrians walked down crowded London sidewalks, he surrounded them with a bright green circle–a little like a giant hula hoop–that gave them an extra few feet of breathing room on all sides. The project was designed as a concept for the National Trust, a U.K. nonprofit that owns 600,000 acres of park space and wanted to attract more visitors.
“I wanted to do something that would be relevant to people in a city,” says designer Jack Beveridge. “Every time you get on the Tube, or you walk down Oxford St, you’re always kind of struggling with the space and bumping into people. I guess it was more of an insight as to the people I was talking to than the product I was trying to sell.”
Beveridge spent a Saturday on a busy street running up and down the sidewalk with his design. “Everyone loved it,” he says. “They all wanted to stay in as long as they could. We had all these kids following us tapping us on the shoulders to see if they could get in.”
The concept, designed for a D&AD student competition, won a coveted award. If the campaign was actually used, he says he’d like to see another feature–a way to help someone in a city quickly find the nearest neighborhood park.
“It’s an escape to your nearest space,” he says. “Celebrating the small spaces that already exist in cities, and using them as a taste of what it’s like to have even more space outside of the city.”