Dunsmuir Plaza Renewal Project
Data stories designed to cultivate public engagement and raise awareness around energy consumption, sustainability, and hydropower.
Some quick visits to the Richmond Night Market for some competitor research and references. It is important to stand out from the crowd and not be drawn out by all the excitement, lights, sounds, and colours.
We began to noticed some interesting patterns on some of the stall where they try to cram as much information as possible onto the limited real estate. This causes a major problem during night times, the menu becomes very hard to read if the stalls are not lit properly or was viewed from afar (typically due to the overwhelming amount of foot traffic).
Aside from designing a booth that will stand out amongst other stalls at the night market, we also wanted to add some personality to our product. Not only as a marketing strategy,
In Fall of 2016, BC Hydro has commissioned students from Emily Carr University of Art + Design to create concepts for a proposed renewal of the Dunsmuir Plaza. Two concepts were selected and served as a jumping point for the new design team to further consolidate and refine the concepts. The new concept would have to keep to the theme of displaying data stories designed to cultivate public engagement and raise awareness around energy consumption, sustainability, and hydro power.
The initial two concepts were mainly focusing on designing around the plaza's existing infrastructures; with on designing around the pool and the other around the metal fence to the back of the plaza. The initial concepts were also designed more as a display unit rather than interactive installations, and were also fairly expensive to realize.
The opportunities for the new concept was to look at creating more cost effective, modular, and interactive alternatives. The new concept would also have more flexibility around the space of the plaza as there was plan to remove the centre pool in late 2017.
Download Fall 2016 project slides here.
Throughout our process and as a support of our design decisions we sought out new technologies and precedents to inspire our explorations.
In order to better understand how the installation would work and operate we needed to begin to create prototypes to test our concepts. We worked with digital programs such as, but not limited to, Processing and Python, hardware such as Raspberry Pi, LED strips, Auto CAD and a variety of industrial materials.
Two concepts where developed. Both of which where intended to engage those transversing or spending time in the plaza with data visualizations. The creation and iteration of these concepts helped carry us forward into our final design phases. Throughout both concepts we explored interactions, form and communication. Ultimately we moved ahead with the Data Forest concept.
The Data Forest.
The Data Forest consists of half meter tall modulus pillars. Each section of the pillar has three sides with two rolls of LED pixels on each side. The pillar modules can be stacked and connected on top of each other to create pillars of various heights.
The inspiration behind the Data Forest is as its name suggested: each pillar are trees and the total of the pillars represents a forest. From afar, at certain designated angles, the density of the pillars would create a display screen like effect at which the client can use to create interesting visuals to draw in visitors. Each pillars would also have motion sensors so as the visitors walk through them, the pillars would display certain interaction in response; symbolizing our impact to our environments.
Together with Tim Rolls, an Interactive Art + Designer, the design team build prototypes to illustrate the concept of the Data Forest to the client.
The client is looking to modernize their old website to keep up with the current website trends.
A whole new look.
Beyond modernizing the clients website, we have also walked the client through some basic User Experience (UX) ideation session to ensure the new sites are displaying the most relevant information for the visitors.