Project: Instruction for Strangers

Title: Water Over the Bridge

The title was a play on the phrase “water under the bridge,” a saying that refers to something that happened in the past that no longer affects the present.  Choosing to use the word “over” instead of under because water becomes a meet point for people walking over the bridge literally, and affects change through these connections of stranger interactions.

This project was a group project conceived and orchestrated by Julie Huynh, Daniel Mastretta, Jimenez, and Ziqu Zou.

Site: Williamsburg Bridge

Initial Goal: Create an environment on the bridge where strangers can interact.

First Iteration:


Interaction in First Iteration:

  • People asked why we had water out, and wanted a reason for us giving out free water
  • People were distrustful of the water being “safe” to drink



First Iteration with Sign:

  • More people stopped and asked for reconfirmation that water is free and safe to drink
  • The sign bridged language barriers for foreigners passing by



Final Iteration Goal: Change the first iteration, so people will not question the safety of the water or ask permission.  Using no signs and no team members to explain the reason for the water being given out. We kept the successful aspects of the first iteration, which was the water, the plant, and the table, but we removed chairs and the plastic water containers.  Our goal was measured by the water consumption consumed by the people passing by.  We added more comfortable elements such as, a tablecloth, scented water in a pitcher, and flowers.



More people drank the water, and returned for seconds.



The nice setting and the enjoyable flavors of the water allowed this couple to enjoy the scenery, while on their stroll.



And left a reminder of their presence.



Many joggers also stopped by to quench their thirst.5


A tour group also stopped by.4


More Couples.


Thirst Quenching.



We achieved the success of a repeat customer.



Our goal was measured by the water consumption consumed by the people passing by, so our project was pretty successful.  People felt comfortable enough with our new environment set-up to trust our installation and drink the water, and drink more of it because the taste was more pleasurable.

Leave a Reply