I’ve been watching Adelaide for many years with some design envy (from its Thinkers in Residences, 5000+, big Park(ing) Days, activations of Splash Adelaide etc etc), and after a “dart on a map” holiday decision, it was nice to finally get to see it though admittedly very briefly.
My public space hunt was rewarded with lovely laneways, good way-finding signage, parks, splashes of street art, great heritage buildings and great feeling streetscapes.
It was actually the quirky coins in the pavement on Rundle St (East) that was a fave. It made me oogle the pavement for blocks. I had heard of similar treatments as a designers joke on a Brisbane building project, and while I don’t know the full story of the Adelaide coins, I still just liked them!
After the coins, I also started seeing public art in other pavement ways, like in service grates. As simple and almost invisible as this might first appear, it seemed to me this was truly symbolic of a city culture and policy environment that really valued design thinking, urban design and place-making. Having a level of care and thought into something that most others ignore, that to me is design at its best level – and one of my main take-away from the trip.