Need to Blow Off Steam? Public Punching Bags Pop Up Around NYC

published Jun 7, 2019
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Credit: dtttww

We have those classic “bang head here” desk signs and tension balls to help people relieve stress on the job, but Georgia-based design studio studio dtttww (an acronym for don’t take this the wrong way)  recently came up with an invention that encourages humans to blow off some steam in public—in a healthy and (presumably) safe way.

During New York City Design Week, studio dtttww displayed its installation called “Public Punching Bags,” which is exactly what it sounds like. The designers chose various locations throughout city and erected yellow punching bags designated specifically for upset passersby to unleash a little bit of their irritation. Each bag bears the image of a closed fist along with a simple message: “Public Punching Bag. (use at your own risk). A healthy place for frustrations.”

Credit: dtttww

As opposed to resorting to road rage, screaming matches and street brawls to deal with everyday frustrations, the design studio hoped that the punching bags would encourage people to reconsider the manner in which they express their emotions in public spaces. “The concept explores designing common spaces for the frustrations we all face [ones] that go beyond designed systems and happen, well, because we are human,” studio dtttww said of the installation.

Each installation also bore its own mission statement which further explained how dtttww hoped users could utilize the punching bags as a cathartic outlet:

“The concept explores designing common spaces for the emotions we all face. Good or bad, as we travel from point A to point B we deal with a good number of frustrations. Frustrations that go beyond designed systems and happen, well, because we are human. The public punching bag offers an outlet for these emotions as a means to maybe develop a healthier way to address personal and collective issues in a public setting.”

Credit: dtttww

Apparently, NYCers took kindly to the punching bags as several people—both children and adults—could be seen kicking, punching and otherwise assaulting the devices, all in the name of healthy stress management.