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Start the Stop is designed to physically and emotionally create a particular type of engagement among its intended audience, predicated on some assumptions about human behavior. 

The project does not hide its movement mechanism, which appears as a confusing and intriguing device to an uninitiated viewer. It is also, at the outset, a peculiar thing in a space that is generally absent any sort of interactive, tangible installation. (If they have anything at all to see or engage with, bus stops usually either offer printed ads or public service announcements, mounted behind often cloudy plastic.) Start the Stop is a weird thing, out of place, and worth attention for that if no other reason. It aims to intrigue and draw users in through curiosity.

The device essentially functions as an Etch-a-Sketch. It's different in a few key ways: it does not have any erasability, is larger, draws on paper rather than a magnetic screen, and is built to withstand the elements. Coming out of the right and left sides of the main device box are long cables, each with a control knob in the middle. Turning one of the control knobs drives the pencil/crayon/etc. inside the main box left and right, whereas turning the other knob drives that same pencil/crayon/etc. up and down.

And while most people would probably use an Etch-a-Sketch by themselves, that's not possible with Start the Stop by design: the two control knobs are about 8 feet apart from each other, each mounted on one of the support columns of the bus stop. If you want to make a drawing, you'll need to find a friend to manage the other axis. This is, of course, the entire conceit of the project: encouraging (without explicitly stating this encouragement) fun collaborative engagement with strangers on a creative effort.

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