Talking Seats

Talking Seats - Walker Street, Dandenong

Location: Walker Street, Dandenong
Artist: Big Fish in collaboration with Parben Pty Ltd
Completed: 2006. Recommissioned in 2021-22


In 2006 as part of the streetscape surrounding the Drum Theatre redevelopment two public art projects were designed and created by Big Fish Workshops P/L. The Casting Couch a red chaise lounge located opposite the Stage Door and Talking Seats two mirror image theatre seats with soundscape embedded. In addition, a series of bespoke bollards with etched Drum Theatre logos were produced for the Walker Street drop off zone.


The Talking Seats are a mirror image of each other, located centrally along Walker Street and opposite Crump Lane. The cream-coloured seats with a red tiled skirting have an embedded speaker that delivers a sound based public art experience within the intimate area of the seat.

The Soundscapes

The original soundscapes created for the Talking Seats broadly explore themes relate to Dandenong. 

  • Indigenous landscape prior to Colonialisation including sounds of bushfires, thunder and native animals;
  • Linked to Dandenong's 20th century character and role as the Gateway to Gippsland when the Town Hall was newly built and the sounds of animals such as horses, dogs and chickens were part of daily life;
  • Market town sounds reminiscent of early commerce and industry established around the Stock and Produce Markets, community life centred around the Town Hall.

The soundscape is programmed to operate at key pedestrian circulation times:

  • 7am – 9am
  • 12pm - 2pm
  • 4pm - 6pm

The schedule ensures the installation is not overtly obtrusive to pedestrians and neighbouring businesses.

  • Talking Seat
    Talking Seat