Parking Meters & Street Hygge

The two-week People Centred Research class focused on getting familiar with conducting fieldwork and interviews as part of the design process. The main focus laid on using design research to inspire numerous low-fidelity prototypes which were then tested in the field with random participants. As part of the final project students collaborated with the City of Copenhagen in a challenge to repurpose parking machines around the city. Through interviews with municipality officials and the citizens of Copenhagen, several key insights were identified.

– “Hygge” is central to the way of life in Denmark.
– People crave engaging experiences which also brighten up their city by creating a warm atmosphere around the city.
– Danish people do not want to be disrupted in their A to B routines although they would like to have more surprising experiences.

These insights were used to focus in on two design challenges:

– How might we generate spontaneous “hyggelig” experiences for Copenhageners outside their homes without disrupting their A to B routines?
– How might we get Copenhageners to perceive parking meters as something different and attract them to these machines on the street in a non-intrusive way?

Testing the Concept: What if parking meters were repurposed as image projectors?

An animation was projected on a building outside CIID on Toldbodgade to test whether people would notice it, stop by and engage with it. In an attempt to bring spontaneity, engagement and a feeling of “hygge”, some interactive elements were incorporated to this projection. Namely, it consisted of a dynamic forest view with accompanying bird sounds. As part of the animation, birds flew past every time a passer-by approached the wall.

Testing Engagement: Does a parking meter need to be redressed to be perceived as another entity?

As part of the engagement test, speakers and lights were attached to a parking meter outside Torvehallerne in an attempt to redress the box. A board hung on the box with a pen attached to it so that passers-by can stop and engage with.