24 Hour Inclusive Design Challenge 2010, Boston, USA, organised by the Institute for Human-Centered Design (IHCD) 17-18 November 2010
Team Leader: Margaret Mazz (Wentworth Institute of Technology)
Design Partner: Maureen McCarthy
Team Aquarium has designed a simple 'space' concept that is easily recognisable, approachable and usable for people seeking a pause from hectic public environments and a means to orient and connect. It has a bold visual and tactile language alongside common interfaces and finishes enabling individuals to identify similar spaces in public areas. A Place to Pause satisfies a need for the familiarity of home, which embodies social engagement, relaxation and access to information.
Developed in response to feedback gained from the team's design partner with first-hand knowledge of where design fails, particularly for someone with a mobility limitation. Walking with her, the team observed the challenges, frustrations and moments of delight. A particular difficulty was finding people to ask for information on routes, attractions. Even with independence as a strong personal value, the design partner highlighted the joy that comes with informal social interactions in the course of day-to-day activities. Facilitating opportunities for individuals to give and receive help, results in two-way benefits.
This design satisfies the need for individuals who want a place to rest for a few minutes and locate a friendly person to ask for help. It features a seating area that invites individuals to take a break and uses metaphors of the home - an armchair and floor area markings. The design recognises diversity through ability, age and circumstances. It is simple, and opens up opportunities for integration with other features such as: a wall and information board; planters for sensory stimulation and one-touch button connection to city services.