OCAD University Open Research Repository

Very Good Benches

Prior, Olivia (2020) Very Good Benches. Masters thesis, OCAD University.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Prior, Olivia
Abstract:

As cities strive to become more sustainable and highly optimized, they have begun to embrace the current trend of “smartness” in ubiquitous computing. This is seen in the implementation of “smart” infrastructure throughout neighborhoods. Objects which typically do not sense or respond to users, like benches, can now offer Wi-Fi, charging outlets and weather reports. “Very Good Benches” explores alternative networking strategies and interactions, using Research through Design, Speculative Design, and Prototyping methodologies, to create a series of smart benches that re-imagine smart infrastructure through the lens of social interaction and the optimization of public engagement.

The goal of each bench is to become a “very good bench” by attracting as many user interactions as possible from the public in order to develop an internal dataset that determines how and when the bench attracts users. Each bench senses occupancy and vacancy through the use of e-textile sensors and attracts interactions through audio and visual outputs by combining solenoids and LED lights. Wheels are incorporated in the design so users are able to arrange the set of benches in ways that best suit them. Through these interactions, a dataset is developed and used to create a ranking system amongst the networked benches which drives each one to compete to be the bench with the most frequent interactions.

By putting more emphasis on the benches and occupants themselves and less attention on larger ideas of optimization, more playful interactions are able to be developed through the object’s perceived personalities. These benches are then able to imagine new possibilities for smart technologies in the public realm as a result of reinterpreting the optimization and efficiency of urban infrastructure through this specific case study.

Official URL: http://www.olivia-prior.format.com/thesis
Date: 2020
Uncontrolled Keywords: Public Space, Smart Infrastructure, Interactive, Emotional Design, Urban Infrastructure, Physical Computing, E-Textiles, Ubiquitous Computing, Interaction Design, Speculative Design, Research Through Design
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Digital Futures
Date Deposited: 12 May 2020 17:33
Last Modified: 12 May 2020 17:33
URI: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/3026

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