København Hygge Map

In collaboration with the Københavns Kommune the team engaged in a two-week design research project focused on repurposing the city’s parking vending machines. They were interested in exploring common needs for both locals and tourists, with a primary research focus on how Copenhagen’s citizens interact with their city on a daily basis. The goal of our research was not to execute a specific design direction, but rather to discover one (or many) that could feed into the Kommune’s broader thinking on the vending machines’ future.

As part of the research process, the team undertook a number of expert and user interviews, site studies and contextual observations. After a round of scoping interviews we chose to explore potential design opportunities based on the physical placement of the meters throughout the city rather then approaching them each as potential touch-points for a new service. User-generated insights led us to an initial concept to place a network of motions sensors throughout the city that would measure the volume and flow of people passing by, collecting real time data to show the city’s pulse. With this in mind the team developed a low-fidelity video-prototype that was taken back into the community and used to spark deeper conversations with potential users.

Following an iterative process of analysis, ideation and co-creation, the developed three scenarios to facilitate discussion with the Kommune on opportunities felt to have potential for more in depth attention. The scenarios illustrated design concepts addressing user needs as follows:

1) How might we leverage real-time data to increase one’s sense of security and empowerment as they use Copenhagen’s streets?
2) How might we optimize big-data so that the public and individuals may profit from it?
3) How might we measure the volume and flows of people through the city to better understand citizens’ engagement with the urban environment?