Sunday, March 28, 2010

unity village :: user experiences

the first floor of unity village serves as a transition space... an introduction to the floors above for guests and residents alike.

a 42-year old mother works as a barista at the community cafe. she feels ownership over the bar, as it isa clearly defined center point in the cafe lounge area. throughout the day customers come and go, each bringing new perspectives and good conversation. the bar seating around the counter brings a diverse group of people together in close quarters, helping residents of unity village interact and form bonds. the barista feels satisfaction knowing she helped foster those connections.

as a 72-year old man enters the space, he is at ease with the nostalgic elements in the decor of the rooms. the wide halls and aisles make it easy to maneuver his wheelchair throughout the floor. he feels at home and visual cues help him navigate without confusion. folding glass doors in the cafe allow him to relax and enjoy the outdoors from the exterior balcony. the result is a calming, easy going experience that helps him release the stresses of the day before heading up to his room.

a 6-year old girl is able to go to the convenience store to get candy, then go to the cafe to play computer games. the space is wide open and she feels freedom to move from one area to the next openly. as she plays on the exterior balcony, she does not worry because she knows she is safe.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

unity village : design standards

Workstation Zone : 90 – 126”
Worktask Zone : 30 – 36”
Work/Activity Zone : 30 – 48”
Visitor Sitting Zone : 30 – 42”
Width of Desk : 60 – 72”
Chair Clearance Zone (from back of chair to wall) : 6 – 24”
Chair Zone : 18 – 24”

Task Profile (for Unity Village) : “Typewriter the primary tool for processing paper. Continued flow of materials is processed as it arrives at the workspace and is passed on to either another function or to group storage. Storage for permanent files and reference materials minimal”

Executive Office:
Workstation Zone : 105 – 130”
Work/Activity Zone : 42” min
Visitor Seating Zone : 23 – 29”
Access Area (in front of desk) : 10 – 14”
Chair Width : 24 – 28”
Space on either side of chair : 21 – 26”

2-person table : 5’4” – 5’6” [incl. table and two chairs opposite]
4-person table [sq. or rounded] : 5’8” – 5’10” across
Required 12 sq.ft. per person
Square Arrangement of Tables : 60” btw table tops ; 24” aisle ; tables 29 – 30” high ; 17
– 18” seat height
Diagonal Arrangement : 30” min btw corners of table tops
Seating for 4:: square table : 3’3” – 4’6” ; rectangular table : 2’6” x 4’ – 6’6”
Req’d 1’9” btw seat backs (not in aisle)
Aisle : 3’ [3’6” required for wheelchairs]; Passage : 2’
Seats 18” deep
“Coffee Shops with fixed seating should include some moveable eating for guests in wheelchairs and guests who have difficulty getting into and out of bench seating”
Wheelchair kneespace is 2’3” – 2’6” [2’6” requires table height to be 31” high, which is too high for most seating]

Workspace behind counter : 36”
Counter width : 18 – 24”
Circulation zone in front of counter : 60 – 66”
Sitting Zone depth : 12 – 18”
Counter Height : 42”
Stool Height : 30 – 31”
Stool Footrest Height : 12 – 13”
Counter Overhang : 10”
Stool top to counter distance : 11 – 12”

Circulation Zone in front of bar : 54”
Bar Top Depth : 18 – 24”
Between seats : 24 – 30”

Building Type / Water Closets / Urinals

Lavatories / Drinking Fountains / Other Fixtures

Monday, March 22, 2010

old town draught house

Old Town promotes social interaction through its design. Its small size force visitors to be in close proximity with each other. There are no divisions or walls within the interior. The bar dominates the restaurant, forming a long L-shape that is the longest surface in the space. Opposite the bar is another small bar against the wall. In the center is a long rectangular table with a raised portion in the center. The tables and bars provide the potential for strangers to sit next to one another and engage in conversation. Those sitting across form each other at the table are also likely to converse. The depth of the long table is less than normal, causing the two people opposite each other to be closer to one another than they normally would. Tables are close together and stools are moveable to encourage interaction.

The acoustics within the draught house should also be considered. During busy times, the sound bounces off the hard surfaces and makes the room loud. People in conversation are forced to move closer together. They are more likely to hold longer conversations because of their proximity, rather than having a short conversation across the room.

The outside patio is another method of bringing people together. The small patio forces tables to be close together. Although it seems a bit overcrowded, visitors do not mind. When the weather is warm, it is common to see people from different tables conversing and interacting with one another. The boundary of the patio meets the sidewalk, allowing passersby to connect with diners. Its location on the main thoroughfare through campus makes it privy to heavy foot traffic, making Old Town an easily recognizable icon at UNCG.

Friday, March 19, 2010

what does design thinking mean to you?

for me, design thinking is about considering all factors related to a project, beyond the obvious. when we design spaces, we have to account for many factors that can affect the way the spaces is experienced. it means thinking outside the box to solve problems in new ways. we have to think big and think about how our design affects others and future designs. the way i am incorporating this into current and future projects is by embracing the creative process and all the trials and errors that are necessary to arrive at a successful design. nothing is perfect on the first try. but when we consider precedents, unexpected inspiration, as well as our needs as humans, it is easier to develop a successful design. this is my intention with unity village and any future projects. i have learned that all ideas are valuable, even the ones that seem farfetched. sometimes these are the ones that work the best.

gateway phase II : rail[WAY]FINDING

"the directional flow of railways facilitates connections between different cultures, people, and places. the result is an eclectic mix of thoughts and ideas that appeal to multiple groups."

railways serves as a gateway between cities and towns. they link different cultures and communities every day, spreading goods and ideas from one place to the next. although there is a strong sense of direction, it is a two-way system. the linear movement provides clarity and focus, yet the users, goods, and ideas transported, as well as the stops along the route, are an eclectic mix that add interest to an otherwise mundane track. that mix of elements [past and present, old and new, local and international, classic and modern] will permeate through the first floor at gateway plaza. an interesting variety of color, texture, pattern, and style will incorporate design for all residents of the building. this variety will also serves as a wayfinding device to help residents and guests alike navigate the floor.

..:: a little inspiration ::..

chapter 6 :: ideation

-ideation is one of the most important yet challenging stages in design. it an approach that drives the rest of the project by providing clarity and focus.

-part of this design approach is deriving a concept. these concepts should be selective, economical, and speak about the design solution.

-contrary to what many believe, a concept is not a single idea, but rather a handful that relate to one another. it is only reached through through a systematic process and insightful thinking.

-many students have problems developing concepts because: the concept simply restates the design problem; the concept is too broad to inform design decisions; the concept attempts to list every detail of the design elements in the space.

-when done properly, a design concept informs design decisions about the character or organization of the space.

-character concepts inform designers about the image and identity of the space.

-organizational concepts inform the layout of the space.

-a scheme can be developed from a concept to further unify the space. it should be appropriate to the project type and function of the space.

Thursday, March 4, 2010