In Jill Nussbaum’s Design for Public Spaces class, we were to create a networked, mobile, or interactive installation that enhances or extends the experience of the High Line park in NYC. The final deliverable is a concept document for review with a guest panel at the end of the 5-week class.
John Finley, Angela Huang, Chia-Wei Liu, Gene Lu
Prior to ideation, the team spent a couple of days interviewing people on the High Line. Afterwards, we got together and did a KJ analysis of what we learned from our interviews. Our key findings broke down into 4 groups: the journey, experiences, features, and actions.
Visitors on the High Line appreciated the history behind the landmark and how it evolved with the city in the last 80 years.
A majority of the people that we interviewed enjoyed the juxtaposition of nature and urban life that the High Line provided. By reframing the busy NYC life in a more natural environment, the High Line helped to evoke serene emotions. One person even said that a stroll on the High Line was like “time traveling.”
Elevated above the city streets, the High Line provided a different view of the city. During our individual visits, we noticed that a lot of visitors were looking out over towards the Hudson river and into New Jersey. The High Line also provided a perfect view of the sunset.
There wasn’t much to do on the High Line. Most people were seen huddled up into groups talking amongst themselves.
Ideation – Part 1
Inspired by IDEO’s 100 ideas/hour, we locked ourselves in the studio’s conference room (it’s actually more like a closet) and within an hour, cranked out a large range of ideas based on our findings.
Our ideas included: photographing oneself over time and generating a time lapse of one’s visits to the High Line, projectng photos taken by visitors onto the Standard Hotel, interactive plant life (sort of like the forest in Pandora in Avatar, the movie), a bush man that jumps out and scares visitors while supplying them with a historical fact (really), and the one that was eventually chosen, a sunset ritual on the High Line.
Ideation – Part 2
After picking a general direction, we did some more sketching to further refine the idea.
The Bright Points Project
The Bright Points Project is what a Summer program would be like at the High Line. Every Thursday night, when the Meatpacking District is buzzing with people visiting local art galleries, the park is open to a limited number of visitors from 7pm to 10pm. When entering the High Line at the Gansevoort Street entrance (the most Southern tip of the High Line), each visitor is handed a lantern that has been solarly charged by the sun. With lanterns in hand, visitors work their way northbound.
As the New Jersey horizon swallows up the sun, the lamps suddenly turn on, symbolizing the passing on of the light from the sun to the visitors of the High Line. It is now their duty to continue the sunset by making their way to the 17th Street ampitheater. As the stream of lights flow north on the High Line, visitors discover that when in close vicinity, the lamps react to one another by displaying a brighter glow. By connecting one person with another through the medium of light, an informal introduction has been made, leading to conversations amongst the program’s attendees.
Finally, as the visitors reach the 17th Street amphitheater, they encounter the Sunset Wall. The Wall is accompanied by a string quartet that helps to set the mood of the continued sunset experience. Here, visitors make their way down the steps of the amphitheater and hang their lanterns up onto the Wall. The Wall acknowledges the lantern with a pulse and as the night passes, the Sunset Wall is slowly pieced together by the visitors forming a second sun.
Concept development, user journey sketches, logo design, photoshopping the heck out of photos for the Bright Points Project walkthrough