EXPERIENCE | GRAPHIC DESIGN
HANDS ON BUILDING
A project in collaboration with the Center of investigative journalism to raise awareness about Private Finance Initiative (PFI), a programme to privately finance departments of public services, approved in 1993 in the UK and still active today. These contracts set extremely high return fees and forces the public institutions to manage all maintenance through the PFI companies allowing these to set prices without restriction. Therefore, these conditions make it very hard for institutions to pay back their debts.
Private financing is a hard subject to engage with and in most cases, construction costs of millions have been used to raise awareness to the public. However, It is very hard for an individual to relate to an 8 digit number as it isn’t something that we handle in our every day. For that reason, we decided to show the flaws of the contracts through the cost of one of the maintenance services private financers provided to one institution, the replacement of a broken lightbulb.
In one instance, a PFI company charged one hospital £333 to change a broken lightbulb. Using the average price of a lightbulb we calculated that with £333 you can buy around 142 lightbulbs and so we created a light installation which consisted of 142 lightbulbs hanging above the 1 PFI lightbulb.
The goal was to create an interactive installation that would spark the curiosity of the viewer increasing the chances they would interact with it. The installation would drip information about the subject subtly (i.e light pulleys had a tag with the amount of debt each public institution had) and only after the user had engaged with it they would learn the reason of this sculpture.
Upon resolution, we found that the participants were much more receptive and willing to learn about PFI after interacting with the structure rather than using the normal approach.