Encounter

The Idea

Encounter is a public installation of two redesigned interactive park benches, which aims to stimulate unexpected, playful interactions between strangers in public space. It creates interactive experiences and lighting effects by detecting movement of passers-by and sitters.

Through a reconsideration of ubiquitous public furniture - the park bench - this project demonstrates innovative approaches of experimenting with design to form interactive urban spaces.

Context

Thesis Project

2021 - 2022

Tool

Woodshop, Arduino, Lighting design

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Redesign our public bench

As an urban space enthusiast, I am passionate about exploring people’s experiences with places and each other when I am spending time in public space. Urban public space is such an interesting and complex place with countless numbers of users and unexpected moments. Although it seems to be unrelated to many individuals because things are public-owned in urban public space, I believe it is the lingering and communal interactions between friends, families, and strangers that makes public space vivacious. 

I am gaining power through technology when I am creating user experience in an urban space. By adding interactive and tangible elements to the urban space, people are encouraged to interact with the place and each other, creating tighter connections between people and urban spaces. Additionally, changes to the mundane part of life always sparks people’s imagination and thoughts. Through redesigning two interactive public benches placed facing each other as tangible embedded interfaces, I design for urban space from a different angel, and I break the gap between people in a shared public space and provide them an opportunity to look at and greet each other.

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Design Detail
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Prototype Development
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