Project Ado
Wessel Herrewijnen

‘Project Ado’ consists of a series of interventions in the streetscape of Tbilisi that find their origin in the locations of the so called ‘Express ATM’s’.

These machines can be used to put money on your credit card, transport card or telephone, but are also used to pay for utilities, pay off bills and depts. For people unused to these machines, these orange and blue objects immediately stand out, for people in Tbilisi, they are very much part of the everyday street scene. After analysing their locations within the city, clear clusters and patterns can be found, marking the active public areas. Going more in debt, the exact positions of these machines in different ‘zones’ of the streetscape were analysed, resulting in a set of common dependencies at the street scale. 

Apart from their spatial characteristics, the ways these machines are used in a social context is also interesting. As mentioned before, the Express ATM’s are used to deposit money, which can have positive or negative inclinations: the machines are associated with paying off or transferring money for drugs and gambling, which are both very topical problems in the city of Tbilisi.

These spatial and social characteristics form the starting point for Project Ado. Even though looking back at the ATM and its current form will not cause one to turn into a pillar of salt like ‘Ado’, the area around the ATM’s in a way, will.

A set of concrete ‘plug and play’ blocks will be introduced at the locations where currently the Express ATM’s can be found. The ATM will be elevated; the introvert act of using the machine will experience a ‘moment of prominence’: protesting its social and spatial particularities. The ATM will hereby become linked with other urban activities and social life. The basic composition of a platform and two linking elements has the same size as one parking spot, allowing the interventions to be implemented in each different type of streetscape the Express ATM can be found in Tbilisi.

The idea is that eventually, while or after the Express ATM potentially slowly fades from the scene, Project Ado’s new street furniture will be a positive memory; an added lasting quality to the streetscape of Tbilisi. Hereby allowing citizens to discover and appropriate the elements for new uses in their daily lives.