Tons of evidence of affection on handrails and bridges cause annoyance in many cities – virtLocks®, virtual locks are Pascal Buley’s idea for web 2.0.
Love locks 2.0
“Per sempre”, “4ever” or “Für immer”: lovebirds use few words to tell about their affection. Padlocks get a pretty engraving before being attached to handrails and bridges in cities like Paris and Rome. However this symbol of love may live only for a short time. This was experienced by 27 year old Pascal Buley from Hannover. He and his girlfriend attached a proof of love at Pont des Arts in Paris just before the city administration had all of the locks removed. The reason: The bridge was in danger of collapsing because of tons of love. Because of this knowledge, Buley was able to develop a smart business concept: Using the website lockscape.com, people can create virtual locks and site them on a map. “Anywhere. For ever.” is the motto.
The rite of love locks dates back to the history of Florence. Graduates of the St. Georgio University attached padlocks from their lockers to the Milvian bridge, to signify the end of studies. Later this gesture was adopted by lovers who would start to attach love locks to bridges all over the world, as a symbol of eternal faithfulness. Afterwards they would scuttle the key in the water. They say that love is in danger of being shattered, when the lock will be detached one day. However there may not be another solution: The Pont des Arts was in danger of collapsing because of all of the proof of love, which is why the city administration of Paris had to have them removed altogether.
For many lovers, and of course for Pascal Buley and his girlfriend as well, this was a sad day: It took two years before the couple could decide on what to engrave on the lock. It took some more time before they travelled to Paris, the city of love, to attach the lock to the Pont des Arts. Visible to the entire world, forever and ever, that’s what they hoped for. What happened subsequently was very disillusioning, when all locks were detached. The couple is still with each other, but it left them sad nonetheless. Just like in Paris, many other cities prohibited love locks on public buildings and places – mainly because of reasons of monument protection and security.
“I had this idea I was thinking about: How can we transport the idea of love locks into our digital age, to allow truly eternal memories?”, Buley says. In no time the idea of virtual love locks – virtLocks – was born. The concept is as simple as it is good: People can design virtual locks on the website lockscape.com, and site and publish them on a map wherever they want to in the entire world. Lockscape is a combination of lock and landscape. In addition to the lock, people can add pictures and text. People from around the globe are able to view the locks and the pictures, and read their personal lovewords. Pascal Buley deliberately chose to not add a commentary functionality. “Even though feelings are publicly shared on lockscape.com, the locks should remain a very personal symbol of love, friendship, appreciation and affection.”, the young entrepreneur says. Additionally it is sealed with an individual certificate and a unique lock ID.
Buley emphasizes that the target group is not just lovers, but envisions it to be a symbol of good friendship as well, or a gift for a dear acquaintance or a member of the family. They are suitable for Mother’s Day or for an engagement. And they offer travel crazed people an opportunity to leave visible traces on the internet around the world. The locks on the map may signify fascinating encounters during the journey, beautiful mutual experiences or new friendships. If users are on tour, it’s even more simple locating your position just by pressing a button – whether you’re on an expedition with your best friend through San Francisco, or propose on the St. Mark’s Square in Venice. It’s because there’s a meaning behind lockscape’s Motto: Anywhere. For ever.
Lockscape.com is entrepreneur Pascal Buleys way of transporting the concept of love locks into the digital age.
Long story short:
Lockscape is an online map for virtual love locks. Design your love lock, site it and share it – anywhere on the world, and visible for everyone. Or allow yourself to be inspired by others – view declarations of love from people from all over the world.
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