Extreme Queuing Tactics

Thanks to Stefan for coming out to meet me for the interview.

Placebo Queues


Method = Omission

So far I’ve created 3 “Placebo Queues” in Newcastle, Uk and Stockholm, Sweden. A Placebo Queue is a queue that looks exactly like a queue, but is disfunctional in the fact that it has no reason; no goal. The people in the placebo queue are queueing just for the sheer pleasure of queueing.

Why create these queues with no reason? I am interested in if the passerby notices the error in the queue; if the queue creates a double take and gets one to question reality. A side-line to this is i’m interested in the amount of people it takes to create a queue as well as the behaviour of our queuers AND if any unsuspecting passerby actually joins the queue.

#01 – Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

#02 – Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

#03 – Stockholm, Sweden.

The results:
People were really quite curious of the “Bridge Queues.” The weather obviously was a major factor in people’s behaviour. Even so, the Stockholm Snow Queue got alot of laughs and even a few old ladies investigating if the sign in front of them said something about why they would be queueing. The queue with the fake leader, but real queuers, waited until a bus came then, realising the man was not queueing for the bus, all looked a bit bemused and made their way towards the bus. A few asked him what he was queuing for. The man said “no reason”.

Blink and you’ll miss it.

The two videos above demonstrate Change Blindness – in basic terms when you fail to spot a change in your environment. While the Derren Brown video shows how age and colour are all victums of change blindness, the second video explains much better the conditions that lead up to change blindness.

When we blink, we create our own grey flicker effect. Almost as if we’re naturally designed to miss things. Reminds me of the statement by Joe Hallihan that “we are hardwired to make mistakes“; that our brain cannot simply take in all the information around us, so it filters out the unimportant and focuses on the important. In web design techniques such as the yellow fade and a javascript blink are used to notify people of changes in the online environment. How does the built environment notify us of changes? Normally handwritten notes to notify people of change of address of a building. Notification boards, newspapers

I guess this is more about an experience of error through change

Empathy + Signs


Curiosity is a natural ability and innate inquisitive behaviour, evident from the observation of many animals species and humans, that engenders exploration, research and learning. Curiosity causes one to explore the universe around oneself, compiling new information from what one already has.

[translated from the portugese wikipedia]

Thanks to Jenny for the tip.

Verbal Double Click

The Verbal Double Click from willow on Vimeo.