• Front Populaire
    The botanical station

    Ratp

    Following the extension of subway line 12, the Parisian Transport Agency (RATP in French) hired ateliergh for a consulting work, in order to set up an artistic intervention that would take place in the new Front Populaire subway station, in the aftermath of the architectural works.

    As part of the extension of line 12, RATP uses the ateliergh to participate in a consultation whose objective is to design an artistic intervention to be created within the Popular Front station, in addition to the architectural work.

    This intervention should be based on two themes of inspiration :
    ・ One inspired by the plant theme of the surface environment in which a garden project exists with the objective of accompanying the traveler throughout his journey within the resort.
    ・ The other based on a territorial and heritage anchor, namely the history of North-South type stations, particularly on line 12, with the objective of creating a relationship of intimacy with the traveler. The answer may relate to only one of the two themes or mix them with reference to common heritage signs.

    Popular Front station : A botanical station at the crossroads of life sciences and culture.

    The graphic charter of the station “Popular Front”, much more than a dressing, must be understood as a UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE that allows :
    1. COMMUNICATE in a sensitive manner with travelers.
    2. EXPERIENCE an exotic experience to break the daily routines.
    3. AWARENESS about the fragility of our ecosystem.
    4. MAINTAIN THE CONNECTION WITH the inhabitants of the neighborhood and the students who will soon invest it.

    Figuier, Ficus religiosa, this ficus under which Buddha is said to have woken up, banana trees, liane, rubber, plants of all kinds, … This jungle thrives in Paris, under the big greenhouse of the station “Font Populaire”. Within this urban ecosystem live plants, people, animals.

    This bucolic decor invites the traveler to contemplate, to “holiday” say Leon Blum, political figure of the Popular Front… Indeed, the resort has become a holiday resort, perfect for wonder and relaxation. The journey of everyday life turns into an exotic exploration.

    Thanks to its visual signature inspired by the botanical world, the Popular Front station is no longer viewed solely as a “circulating machine”. It becomes a gazebo, a cultural breeding ground, an ornithological observatory that allows travelers to contemplate the agitation of the flows and to experience the plant biodiversity in its abundance and rarity.

    Just like the vegetation that decorates the resort, the traveler is invited to take a break, to take root to contemplate an imaginary nature where plants and species from all over the world live together. The poetry inherent in this botanical resort relieves the traveler’s expectation that, thanks to these artifices, he can project himself into a fantastical alternative.

    The floral variety also evokes the human richness, the cultural diversity that characterizes this cosmopolitan area of Saint Denis – Aubervilliers. African plants coexist with plants from Asia, the Amazon… Strange animal species take us to other horizons, take us to other continents…

    Finally, this station is a means of raising awareness among the general public about the fragility of our ecosystem and the current challenges of its preservation. Here, all life sciences are mobilized (anthropology, botany, earth sciences, paleontology, ethology, …). This station, like the flow that intermingle, mixes viewpoints on knowledge of the world and plays on cultural boundaries…

    A cultural resort built around the three knowledge. The visual scenography of this station creates awe and surprise to combat the ambient gloom suffered by transit sites.

    Objective : To provide travelers with extraordinary experiences that are structured around the three pieces of knowledge :

    > Knowledge : This station provides access to knowledge, i.e., knowledge that could be reported to us by an expert committee composed of specialists in the life sciences and the humanities. The elements of the graphic charter could be selected in consultation with this committee. This scientific collaboration is also a way of involving the academics who will attend the station on a daily basis.

    > Expertise (tools) : Digital tools are made available to travelers so that they can increase the sensitive experience of walking in stations. For example, we could build an application actually augmented for SmartPhone. These tools allow travelers to interact with this environment.

    > Know-how (culture): Finally, this resort puts on the (organic)cultural diversity that characterizes this cosmopolitan and popular district. This graphic language is based on universal values : Nature. This “natural” language automatically makes sense because it transcends cultural particularities and thus promotes the exchange between beings… and nature.

    This luxuriant vegetation illustrates the cross fertilization of the knowledge necessary to cultivate this art of “living together”.

    This station also becomes the theater of a metaphorical language about our relationship to nature and more broadly to the contemporary world. This graphic universe can also serve as a matrix for “vegetating” the neighborhood, “pollinating” the minds. Graphics then become a trademark that exports well beyond the physical perimeter of the station. This viral aspect contributes to making this station a cultural and popular place.

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  • Creative Direction
    ateliergh

    Illustrations & graphics
    Lotie

    Social anthropologist / User experience
    Stéphane Juguet (WT2i)