let’s play coronavirus hopscotch

Submitted by Michael Höffner

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Client: ULI OKC; and Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership

Location: Oklahoma City, OK, United States

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $1,500

Project Team

designer, project manager

michael höffner

höffnerdesignstudio

Fabricator of coronavirus models

Jonathan Hils

University of Oklahoma College of Fine Art

Overview

Even temporary art can be sensitive to context. Let’s Play Coronavirus Hopscotch is a temporary installation in front of our office building that playfully reminds passersby of common sense measures to prevent spreading the disease.

The site is in an up and coming downtown edge known as Film Row – it’s a neighborhood full of young people, where housing projects, cafes, bars, micro-breweries and creative sector businesses are gradually replacing abandoned and under-utilized properties. The form, color palette and font are matched to the architecture of our office building to ensure that the work appears comfortable in its place. 3D printed virus models are provided as game pieces, and humorous admonishments take the place of numbers on the game area.

Goals

A Community Microgrant from Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership and ULI Oklahoma provided funding for the project. It is part of a series of works in the downtown Oklahoma City area that welcome workers back, and is supportive of an environment that is as safe as possible while we negotiate life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Process

The call for entries was answered with a hand drawn sketch of the concept, with dimensions, a description of the materials, a budget and proposed schedule. The response also included information about public safety, including information about the slip-resistant substrate to be used, and a plan to keep the 3D printed game pieces sanitized.

Additional Information

People responded to the project in different ways, and since the site is in front of our building, we were able to observe. Almost everyone at least slowed down their walking pace to read the game board. Younger people interacted most often, especially when in groups, and the youngest people exhibited the highest levels of engagement. Two incidents were especially rewarding to witness. First, a young couple sat on the sidewalk with their youngster and practiced reading. Later, a woman who looked as though her work day had crushed her spirit noticed the game board as she walked over it. She stopped and shook her head as if in disbelief, walked backwards to the beginning and hopscotched her way back before continuing on her way down the sidewalk.