RSA design competition…everything but the final design ofcourse

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problemdevelopment draft


The 3D wayfinder

I have been researching how other designers have worked with technology to create a 3D option for people to travel through train stations. This video shows a design which is very complex in a large building where you can easily find brands, gifts, shops and the best routes to get to your destination automatically. The design is futuristic but probably not too far away. The only thing with this design that I don’t agree with is the large amount of options for its user. Although the idea looks nice, how many people will be waiting to use this one machine at one time? And how long will it take to find the destination due to the selection of options? I have been designing for the interior of the train stations to control and defeat the crazy, busy, uncontrolled human traffic to make the journey ‘The good journey’ however I think the key is to make the service I am going to design much more unique and accessible to the travellers, public and commuters using the journey daily, weekly etc. I am going to do this through connecting the smart phone users to the interior of the train station to avoid confusion, panics, and getting caught in the masses of people whilst travelling from ‘A’ the entrance of the station, to ‘B’ the preferred train platform.

I will upload the work I am working on soon.

The London Underground Map

The London Underground, as I remember from 1 year ago is led by a range of colours similar to the  ones of the monopoly board. And we are led by these colours as they represent different routes. It is such a clever network and really easy to use I found with the coloured coaches and the small pocket maps you can take. It is a grand system and is easiest and simple to use this way. For my ‘good journey’ project I think something not similar or the same but something influenced by this system could really help the travelling around in our every day train station. Something more digital could work and could guide people to their train or to their gate they are heading for. Train stations can be ridiculous to tackle at the best of times with the surges or human traffic and the rush to get to your gate on time. Something can really be done to help this madness at our stations.


Japan crossing

I actually wanted to say something about this video but I don’t even know what to say! From around 0:35 watch. The zebra crossing is bigger than any I have seen and lets 1000’s of people cross roads- that are all linked together- at once. I think it is really impressive that the crossing can control the way the majority of people cross, using the black and white lines painted on the road. I just think something so simple can control so many people. They choose to use it to get from A to B safely however they don’t have to use it but they do.

It would be a shame to come to Tokyo and not take a walk across the famous intersection outside Shibuya Station. On sunny afternoons or clear evenings, the surrounding area is packed with shoppers, students, young couples and commuters. When the lights turn red at this busy junction, they all turn red at the same time in every direction. Traffic stops completely and pedestrians surge into the intersection from all sides, like marbles spilling out of a box. You can observe this moment of organized chaos from the second-story window of the Starbucks in the Tsutaya building on the crossing’s north side.

Read more:,31489,1897812_1897772_1897742,00.html#ixzz2DuXz4gL5


A google map image of this area in Japan

shibuya google maps

You are so digital. But do you have to be?

where everyone thinks ”YEAH! New technology! I can Tweet, Facebook and find exactly what shop that dress is in in this supermarket! All on my smartphone!!” I like that technology is becoming so advanced to an extent. But not to the extent where the applications do not actually help us but waste out time or allow us to procrastinate continuously. In public transport having a game to keep us amused if we are on our own or music to set us up for the day ahead is fine. And I think there is a sudden expectation for designers to take new technology with two hands and make it better again. It shouldn’t be this way because all the ‘little’ things like the people, the place where we live, and the environments we are in are not used to their potential but instead ignored most of the time because that little screen that is your mobile phone is constantly flashing and guiding you and stealing you away from the environment that you are actually in physically.


The train station.

Step 1: Look at this figure preferably on your smart phone as you would at the train station, or on your way there. And put yourself in the situation below:

Step 2: Basically, from what I have written above about smart phones…apply this sort of behaviour to:

yourself in the busiest train station on a Saturday. Your train is soon. You are on the bus on your way to the train station. You still have to go to the self-service ticket machine to collect your tickets. You still need to find out your platform. You wont find out until you enter the station. After collecting your ticket and finding out your platform you have 10 minutes to get to your platform. The station is too busy and people are everywhere. So you start heading to platform. You have a few minutes and people are boarding the train already! There are still people who are running across, diagonally and out of control because they are also in your situation. They have somewhere to be too. After squeezing through and avoiding as many people as you can you have reached your platform just in time. How many times did you look at your phone throughout this adventure? A train station isn’t always the best place for a mobile phone. The best use for your phone really, in this situation is ‘time’. Not too much else.


Wouldn’t this journey be easier if:

You collected your ticket. And the rest was handed over to the responsibility of the train station? By this, why should you be forced a stressful start to your journey when a change can be made so you can get around the station and to your platform in a smoother way. A less forceful way. How can the train station change to allow this ‘good journey’ that we really expect.



How we choose to use space

three desire paths just showing how people deside to take their route. In so many cases it’s not the route intended for them.

…further research in this area where human traffic can create major problems including stress, dis-orientation, and rushing around at a train station. Looking at the space and how it is actually used and redefining the way the space is used will help this problem caused by human traffic and create a ‘good journey’

gaston bachelard: “the poetics of space” + desire paths.

gaston bachelard: “the poetics of space” + desire paths..

One of these experiences creates a Desire Path -”a term in landscape architecture used to describe a path that isn’t designed but rather is worn casually away by people finding the shortest distance between two points”. Just as Bachelard examines, it shows how the human use of an architectural or pre-determined flow through space will sometimes over-ride the intentions of it’s creator. Just like nature and evolution itself, life will always find the most expedient route to what it wants.


This quote from Bachelard’s ‘The poetic of space’ is interesting. We see these desired paths every day but never strip the thought down to ‘just getting from A to B’. We know we are going from A to B but we don’t think about how that route we’re taking got there or why it was put there in that specific place. Not every route we take has been put there by an architect or designer, but by ourselves. When an architect or designer creates a new path taking away or cutting off  the route we made ourselves this creates a response from the public.

Here is an example from Grays School of Art, Aberdeen. Students are still going on…