Wednesday, February 09, 2005

WiFi public space

This is great! an exhibition of 'WiFi Furniture' in the British Library: furniture specifically designed for use when using wireless equipment. I particularly like the Lean Back-- it's very comfortable. I could imagine something like this being incorporated into the design of a public space. Wouldn't it be great if there were elements designed to work with your body-- e.g. something to lean against when making a mobile phone call? or rest your bag on while taking down a phone number? It would be fascinating to do an urban design project to allow people to more easily use these kinds of technology while in public space. What would the space look like? would it be all ledges and walls for leaning against? alternatives to benches and chairs? public desks? with power sockets?
One of the key criteria would have to be ergonomics and how the body moves and responds to the space and the architecture. Often overlooked in urban space design. And architecture.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

WiFi furniture exhibiton excellent, I agree. Particularly like the comfy desk/armchairs with their pivoting worktop - a bit like having a tray for breakfast in bed. I like your proposal for extending these possibilities into public space. I've had some thoughts in a similar vein, but with a slightly different emphasis. Part of the problem with remote connectivity is precisely that it can make one remote from the place one is in, which can be highly anti-social and not 'in-the-moment'. The default response to a free moment is to check one's inbox rather than strike up a conversation. 'Here & Now' space sometimes needs protection from these leakages of co-presence. An image I have is of a hair-salon, where there are big transparent helmets that you can duck into for a quick chat on your mobile. These might also be surrounded by a sheathing of white noise, as an additional insulant. Or there might just be niches lined with sound-absorbant material. Are these anachronistic preoccupations with certain unavoidable aspects of "city noise"? Conor Moloney

12:56 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not able to check out the WiFi furniture exhibition, but love the idea of the extension to urban design in the public realm. I'll be keeping my eyes open from now on to take the thought one step further: sub-zero urban public spaces! -molly

2:55 a.m.  
Blogger Justin Mason said...

similar to what Conor mentioned -- Joe Jost's in Long Beach, aside from being an excellent bar, boasts a cell phone booth, check it out:

2:18 a.m.  

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