I designed a quick version of a ‘coffee pole’ aimed at allowing strangers to feel comfortable with each other in a captive environment, in this case: the university cafe. The reason for the prototype was to find out where and how people would prefer to stand in relation to someone they did not know whilst using the same drink stand. I did not know what the results would be as I don’t know how each person thinks however the results brought back a correlation from the people who used the pole.
1. 90% of the people preferred if a stranger stood opposite them. This was to do with eye-contact and knowing what that person is doing. It is important for people to know what others around them are doing in order for them to feel at ease.
2. The other 10% would allow a stranger to stand by their side whilst using the design. These people said that being in a captive environment, it is normal to be close to others in it. Because a captive environment is not always a small space however it may be a large space like a festival or shopping mall where the swarms of people then create a captive space due to the amount of people passing through and using the space.
One person also wrote a note on the pole on some lines I’d provided and they said:
‘”would individual coffee shelves not separate people rather than connect them?”
I took this thought on board along with the other results and I will post more photos up soon with further development for this project.