Is it a design-led idea to put pianos in a park? Let's just say yes: it's all about redesigning the way the park is used.
In the Botanical Garden at the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, they have an annual Flower Piano Festival with 12 grand pianos.
Pianos in public places are not new, but this is not your normal honky-tonk. These pianos are spread throughout the park and are used for crowd singalongs (with a downloadable songbook), hour-long professional concerts, shows for kids and by kids, "break the ice" piano lessons, choir and chamber ensembles, midnight shows and, in between the programmed use, by absolutely anybody who wants to sit down and play.
It started in 2013, when local musician and artist Mauro ffortissimo put an old grand on cliffs overlooking the ocean and people turned up to listen.
"One day there were 20 people. The next day it's 100. The next day it's 1000," he says. The authorities took the piano away.
So ffortissimo and his friend Dean Mermell began installing pianos for impromptu performances on street corners, in a series they called the Sunset Piano Project.
"What we are doing may not be strictly legal," ffortissimo said at the time, "but sometimes you have to do something a little crazy."
By the summer of 2016, the idea had become respectable and the Flower Piano Festival began.
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It lasts for 12 days. For two hours on the weekends, all the pianos are played in concert at the same time. You can wander through the park and hear Bach, bossa nova and Broadway tunes, Duke Ellington, Philip Glass, the Grateful Dead, dance-along ballet and "jazz with a touch of psychedelia". Well, it is San Francisco.
"Nobody expects to see a piano outside a living room," says Mermell, "so when you put it under a tree in a beautiful setting, it creates a disconnect in your brain that allows wonder to grow."
Can we have some of that, please, Auckland Arts Festival?
Design for Living is a series on good ideas that make cities better, running weekly in Canvas.