Oh No Sumo calls the intersection between two Auckland universities, populated by laundromats and bus stops, a place for "poor quality waiting." Frustrated by pedestrians retreating into their phones for entertainment, the "after-hours experimental architectural design collective" made waiting into a group activity with the "Stairway Cinema," a mini-movie theater built an outdoor staircase.
Part of the St Paul St Gallery’s curatorial season 2012, Stairway Cinema was made from simple materials: a timber frame covered with three layers of polyester, angora knit and cotton fabrics, plus a projector, a screen and some cushions. The result was an open, inviting, comfortable space where passers-by could stop in for a few minutes and catch a short film (nothing feature length was shown) while waiting for their laundry or bus.
By building the cinema in an existing staircase, Oh No Sumo took advantage of the built environment with the skill and creativity that marks the work of "urban hacktivist" Florian Rivère. It's a great way to make cities- perhaps our best hope for a green future- more livable, social, and just plain fun.