French designer Mathieu Lehanneur, in collaboration with advertising firm JCDecaux, has installed his first urban development project on the famed Rond Point des Champs-Elysées in Paris.
The project, called Escale Numérique (Digital Break in French), is a series of Wi-Fi stations where pedestrians can sit to use laptops or other mobile devices, as well as access local information on a large screen.
The installation won a competition by the Mairie de Paris for intelligent street furniture connected with the underground fibre-optic network, so residents and visitors without mobile internet access can connect on the move.
Lehanneur devised a protective shelter with a plant covered roof, meant to look as good from above as from street level. Concrete swivel chairs with school desk-like tables for laptops sit under the shelter, and a large “digital billboard” provides city information and news for those without personal devices...