Client: Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
Location: San Jose, CA, United States
Completion date: 2017
Artwork budget: $1,150,000
Claudia Reisenberger & Franka Diehnelt
merge conceptual design LLC
Public Art Agent
San Jose Public Art
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
OverviewPublic Art Installation at 18 Bus Shelters in San Jose, California Printed Glass, Perforated & Painted Aluminum, Concrete w/ Inlays ±12’x10’x8’ Areas in 18 Shelters
The project consists of art enhancements to 18 bus shelter along the new Santa Clara- Alum Rock Bus Rapid Transit Line in San Jose.
The art enhancements consist of three elements – a glass wind screen, metal ceiling panels, and concrete pavers that create a distinct space within each shelter. While the details and materials of these treatments remain the same at each shelter in order to reinforce a coherent identity of the transit line, the patterns use content uniquely related to the immediate neighborhood of each shelter: detailed research and community outreach informed topics that are sometimes historic, and other times contemporary in their reference.
Each station location i.e. east and westbound is identified by one distinct color to further strengthen each station’s geographical identity on the transit line.
For example, one of the station designs was inspired by the name of Story Road, originally named after an early landowner in the area. The subdivision that now occupies the area chose story book names for street names, including Bambi Lane, Cinderella Lane, and Peter Pan Avenue. Intrigued by memories of community members, we found several fairytale like images in various locations around the neighborhood to use in our patterns: a Quinceanera Cinderella carriage we photographed in front of a local store, and a deer surrounded by vines found on an old cast-iron stove at the oldest school in the area. Although now only a memory- the sign from the neighborhood's grocery store “Story-Book Market” makes an appearance as well. The other stations shown here were inspired by "church hats" we documented in the community, the local low rider culture, the art of crochet practiced in the Portuguese American community, a small propeller airport in vicinity of one of the stations, and figure skating patterns at the San Jose's ice arena.
These artworks evolved in intense collaboration with the community and the client. Through the course of our project, we built meaningful relationships with many community members, who shared their stories and knowledge about their neighborhoods. We solicited community input through general outreach, targeted interviews, and workshops. All these stories informed our work - we could not have created these artworks without the shared knowledge of the community. This process also led to very rewarding results on a personal level: many community members expressed their appreciation for the project and the design process.