Coffee table transforms L.A. bus stop into conversation hub

In a city known more for clogged expressways and crowded beaches than it is for its pedestrians, designer Julie Kim is determined to challenge the public perception that no one takes public transit in L.A.

So, she placed a coffee table — one of her commissioned designs, the Hammock Coffee Table — at a bus stop on a busy Koreatown corner. Then she secretly shot footage of people's reactions to the table, topped with a newspaper and vase of flowers.

"The video aims to challenge the perception that no one walks or uses public transit in Los Angeles, while also romanticizing a sometimes forgotten corner in the City," Kim wrote on her blog.

After only eight minutes of filming, Kim was surprised at the response to her table.

"The number and variety of people milling about—workers, kids, the elderly, of every ethnic group—surprised me," she told GOOD. "I thought I'd have to shoot for at least an hour to capture anything worthwhile."

"People wait for a while at these stops, 15 to 20 minutes," she says. "This is an opportunity for the city to engage them."

The project has inspired Kim to start developing other "surreal, out-of-place" situations in the city.

"Many neighbourhoods in L.A. still lack built features that stimulate the senses and elicit interest at pedestrian scale," she says. "Perhaps the coffee table filled that role momentarily."