Danfos are Lagos’ informal buses. These vehicles cram in passengers and take them all over the city. The Playable City Lagos Danfone project arose out of discussions about how to connect commuters who use danfos with one another.
The design team provoked each other with questions: what would happen if you could start up a conversation with someone you had never met on a different bus? What would you talk about? What kind of serendipitous interactions could be created?
To find out the answers to these questions they creates the Danfone, a playful intervention connecting strangers across the informal bus networks of Lagos.
The Danfone was designed to be fitted in a number of buses. Each Danfone would consist of a phone receiver and some instructions. The Danfone is activated on picking up the receiver. Picking up the phone would make a phone in some other random bus ring. If someone in that bus picked it up, you’d be connected and you could have a chat. If you hung up and tried again, you would be connected to a different bus.
Danfone was quickly prototyped and one end of the connection was tested in a busy market in Tafawa Balewa Square. Commuters were invited to join conversations with strangers. The team behind the project hope that the recordings of these conversations could provide a vocal map of Lagosians topics of conversation and concerns, and generate enough original material to be broadcast daily as a radio programme.