Read: Talks In Transit Series A Standout Success
Date: September 6, 2013
Author: Danielle Robson
The Talks In Transit series truly were a highlight of the CUSP: Designing into the Next Decade program, and an absolute joy in the eyes of everyone who joined us for a ride. This program would not have been possible with out the dedicated help and assistance of Sydney Trains and in particular the help of Kevin Ellison, Events & Trackwork Officer with Sydney Trains the Operational Readiness and Special Events department, who helped us take advantage of the amazing venue that trains between Central station and Casula provided.
Last Saturday’s talk “Can design change communities?” was our best yet! It was a full house with people seated in every available seat upstairs and in the vestibule area downstairs to listen! (If you missed it you can listen here.)
When the train pulled into Central station at 11:13am, there were four passengers already seated upstairs. I had explained to each of them that we were about to host a free public talk on the carriage and that they were more than welcome to stay. All four passengers stayed upstairs (despite the sudden onslaught of passengers at Central station!) and intently listened to the talk for nearly all 60 minutes.
When we alighted the train at Casula, I heard a voice calling out after me, and realised that it was one of the passengers who had been sitting on the train. She told me that she has been so inspired by the talk and asked me if it would be ok if she came over to Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and listened to my tour of the CUSP exhibition. I said of course! And she came over with us to the gallery. She also told me that she was actually a few weeks off retiring and looking for somewhere to volunteer and get involved – and that she would like to contact Alison Page and Paul Pholeros of Healthhabitat (the speakers for the session) to see if she could offer them some volunteer time. I happily passed on their contact details.
After the exhibition tour had ended, I walked back to Casula train station to head home and realised that the woman was also headed back to the train station. We starting chatting again and I asked her what stop she had originally been planning to get off at. She told me she lived in Strathfield and was just on her way home from the city. Instead of going home, she had come on a little adventure with us to Casula for a few hours, listening to a talk that has inspired her to volunteer, and seeing an exhibition that she otherwise would not have seen.
For me, that was the golden moment of the whole talk series and why we wanted to do this in the first place – to take design and creative ideas out of the gallery and into everyday life.