The Hopscotch Project: An intervention of college students’ obsessions with technologies

The Hopscotch Project
Designed by PingLin Huang


This video summarizes the purpose of the Hopscotch Project and documents the process and the making of this project.

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“The Hopscotch Project”

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The Hopscotch Project was located around Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC Irvine between CyberA Cafe and the bridge to the main campus.

The hopscotch project is an intervention that aims to stop college students from playing on their smart phones while walking on the campus. It is also designed to intervene college students’ regular lifestyle and to make them become more engaged with the environment.

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The sketch of the hopscotch grid that was installed.

The artist came up with this project when she saw UCI students looking down at their smartphones while walking on the campus. Since they were looking downwards, something on the ground should shift their attention from their phones, then this initiates the Hopscotch Project.

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Typical college students’ lifestyle is looking at their phones while walking to their classes.

The hopscotch project is very easy to install. It only needs some artist tape (so it is easier to take it off), scissors, printed out numbers from 1 to 9, and double sided tape. The first hopscotch of the project was installed on November 28, 2012 around Claire Trevor School of the Art on a walkway that students mostly pass by.

After the hopscotch was installed, four different reactions were recorded. The first reaction is excitement. Some people got very excited seeing the hopscotch and played on it when they walked by. But most students ignore the hopscotch. The third reaction is curiosity. People looked at the hopscotch and even talked about it but did not play on the hopscotch. The last reaction is the most unexpected one. Some people found the hopscotch very rare and took pictures of it and uploaded to social media.

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An UCI student playing on the hopscotch.

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Most students didn’t even look at the hopscotch.

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Some students felt curious about the hopscotch but didn’t play on it.

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An UCI student taking pictures of the hopscotch.

This project did not last very long due to the rain at night. So there may be a design problem that needs to be fixed to make it waterproof.

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The hopscotch after a rainy night.

The first hopscotch project got some positive feedbacks from the students who played on it. They said “It is a great idea and they really enjoy it”. Although the hopscotch project is such a small intervention that people may just walk across it without knowing its existence, this project still makes a little difference when people start thinking why the hopscotch would suddenly appear in the middle of the street and what is the purpose of it. The hopscotch can bring the students back to their childhood when there were not many electronic devices to play on. This project can definitely be bigger and last longer next time if people all have positive reactions to it.

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Students really enjoy seeing and playing on the hopscotch.

Budget-
<$10

Production Materials
Artist tape
Scissors
Double sided tape
Printed-out numbers
Installation takes around 20 minutes

Social media strategy
After the hopscotch was installed, the project was promoted through Facebook and Twitter, asking people to come around and play on it. There can also be a Facebook page where people upload their pictures with the hopscotch they find on campus.

Future plan:
To make the intervention more effective to the targeted audiences, the hopscotch can be bigger and more colorful, even more challenging for college students to play on. More hopscotch can be installed in different areas on campus and the numbers can be made out of color tapes instead of paper.

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