La Chasse aux Lucioles

Project by 
Raphael Coutin 

June 2013

Eindhoven NL 

Imagine coming in from the dark to a place where you are greeted with cheer and friendliness... You amble throught the nocturnal cityscape with the help of a mysterious light, a whizzing beacon guiding you every step of the way. With a sense of wonder and giddy expectation you embark on the journey through an unknown city, reassuringly aware you're going to reach your destination safely (as well as on time). The firefly, in popular culture, conjures up summer nights, careless abandon and childish fascination. And, more importantly, the firefly lights up for social reasons. In this project as well as in real life. And who better deserves the services of such a creature than the newcomer trying to find his own watering hole ? Accepting the fact that the city may be unwelcoming and the newcomer reluctant, this concept brings a sprinkle of immediate gratification into the mix: the amazing flight of a mechanical device (a relaxed relative of the well known drone, let's say) makes the passage from outsider to insider less stressful, more lighthearted. Along with the idea comes a hub, a databank at a specific location in the city, where all the fireflies are assembled for use. The residents of the city connect with this base station, to promote / share an event or to communicate a message. All for the benefit of the guests, who may select according to preference (with easy colour coding for each type of activity). Subsequently, a firefly is provided with instructions to navigate the visitor to the different venues (e.g. theater, sports arena, pop-up gallery, outdoor festival) within the city. After completing the task, the firefly loses its glow, disengages and returns back to the base. Ready to take the next newcomer under its wing.