Stories matter. They are a huge part of how we understand the world around us. This summer in Saint Paul, Minnesota, a solar- and human-powered electric bicycle will be touring the streets, towing a custom-built trailer that was specifically designed for collecting and sharing stories that matter to the residents of the city.
Designed by artist Roger Cummings, the Storymobile 2.0 (the previous version was towed by regular bike) is a hand-built engagement space decked out with iPads, microphones and an amp, as well as pens and paper and Polaroid cameras. And it's being towed by a perennial TreeHugger favorite, Organic Transit's ELF. (Disclosure: ELF inventor Rob Cotter is a friend of mine.)
Writers, filmmakers, and spoken word artists will travel with the Storymobile to help people share their stories, and people can email the the stories they record to themselves or share them more broadly through a special archive. People can take a Polaroid photo of themselves and take that home with them too.
Storymobile Director Melvin Giles shared the thinking behind the project:
“Storymobile is a mobile unit for community engagement. People love to share their stories—by video, or by writing it down, or using a computer. It is collecting history and it is a way to share about ourselves and our community. We learn from each other when we share.”