FOR PARTICIPATORY SPACES
The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) is a statewide, non-partisan organization whose goal is to bring people together in order to gain consensus around policy questions affecting North Carolina. IEI Commons in Hunt Library is a space where people can collaborate to generate solutions and raise ideas to policymakers. This project proposes changes to the IEI Commons space to increase visitor participation and contribution.
I performed ethnographic observations and interviews to evaluate the habits of visitors in the space. My preliminary explorations for this project focused on rapid-prototyping using concepts of play, participation, and presence. I teamed up with classmate Luis Zapata for the final project to recommend changes to the physical space and its content.
Our proposal presents IEI as a user-curated space where the actions of the participants within the space drive the content displayed in the space. A primary central screen shows visitors the trending topics based on activity at interactive tables.
Active topics show dynamically on a central screen, which draws attention to common threads between them. The reflection of IEI activity is shown as a continual process and one that is open to the participation of visitors to the space.
Each interactive table is a unique discussion of IEI- or user-supplied content based on a predetermined theme. At these tables visitors can browse and collect existing content into visual conversations. Visitors can also add new content from their own device using the tables or curate a portfolio of content that they can take with them digitally for review at a later time.
In addition to these content changes, we also suggested changes to increase visibility into the space and to provide a more welcoming working environment.
We jointly presented this proposal to members of the IEI management and staff.
|| ACTIVITY AND TRENDS
Visualizations on the central screen displays activity at the tables dynamically and indicates common conversations at the tables. Conversations evolve over time.
|| CURATION TABLES
Tables present a playful approach to content and allow visual conversations to be crafted and built upon by any visitor.
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|| PHYSICAL CHANGES
Physical space changes included lowering outer walls, strategically positioning display screens, and redistributed worktables to create a central hub with supporting work areas.
April Maclaga, Luis Zapata
Graduate Studio | Fall 2015
Design as a Cultural Artifact
Professor Denise Gonzales Crisp
Assistant Professor Derek Ham
NCSU College of Design