LIVING ROOM (AND BRITAIN'S FIRST 'ROOM RAGE' INCIDENT)
JULY 2003, BEECH CROFT ROAD, SUMMERTOWN, OXFORD, ENGLAND

DESCRIPTION

A COMPLETE LIVING ROOM INSTALLED IN THE MIDDLE OF A RESIDENTIAL STREET


MATERIALS

DISCARDED FURNITURE AND CARPET, TOYS, WORKING TELEVISION AND LAMP, HOOVER, MAGAZINES, ETC


BUDGET

0 POUNDS STERLING


CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULE

2 DAYS ACQUIRING AND TRANSPORTING DISCARDED FURNITURE, 3 HOURS SETUP


SUMMARY

Although I provided the bulk of the furniture for the Beech Croft Living Room, perhaps the most gratifying moment came when neighbours started adding their own touches to the 'room'.

I picked up the broken tv from the dump, but it was soon replaced by a working one so that residents could watch Wimbledon.

Someone brought flowers, doilies, children's toys, old magazines, and a collection of books.

Once people became accustomed to the novelty of relaxing in the middle of the street, the room took on a very realistic domestic life, something I hadn't predicted.

Relaxing in the middle of a space normally associated with speed and pedestrian anxiety is a tingly combination of sensations, one both exhilarating and profoundly relaxing.

When it came time to dismantle the living room, it was agreed that a stripped-down form of the room should remain as a form of traffic calming (see press) This stripped-down room proved to be an effective means of slowing down traffic.

It seemed to be the carpet that was the key element to slowing traffic (the carpet appeared intact from the top but was in fact damaged from beneath).

Alas, a local man driving a 4x4 deliberately butted into the sideboard, and then angrily got out of his car and reproached me at my door. The furniture presented no hazard to him, but for some reason it made him become obscene and lose his temper.

The raging man grassed us to the council who promptly removed most of the living room. The council was breathtakingly efficient at doing so. luckily the carpet, the hardest item to come across, was spared.

This incident is likely to be Britain's first documented example of 'room rage'.

PANDORA AND TOM ENJOY A CASUAL LUNCH...

...WHILE WIMBLEDON PLAYS ON THE TELEVISION

THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET...A NICE PLACE TO READ...

...OR GET A BACKRUB (WHILE KEEPING AN EYE ON WIMBLEDON)--MIND THE LEGO.

WISH THIS WERE NORMAL...