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Project Brief: Mapping Exercise and Intervention Select a public site in Providence, analyze the site, map the actual activities and behaviors that are occurring at the site and propose and execute an idea for a modest intervention that would impact the actual behavior that occurs at the site.
Site: RISD library stairs - This space designed for sitting is not being used at all. Most people don’t know it’s for sitting. It is only used as egress. This big empty space is too lonely to be sitting alone.
Patterns of Use:The main circulations in the library occur in front of and next to the stairs, but nobody attempts to sit in this space. The stairs are like a void at the center of the library
Hypothesis: If we place human silhouette figures in the space that is not used to its full potential, then the expected outcome of the experiment is people’s increased attention towards the space and the actual interaction between the space, figures and people because the intervention is inviting. Figures made of plastic and tape are sitting in various seated positions. They can be seen through the library doors, which draws the attention of those just passing through the hallway.
Position of users: Movement has shifted more towards the center of the library and stairs Activities/Functions: Looking, taking photos, sitting, touching
Quotes/Interviews: “Yessss I’m going to art school @risd library” - “Many people have been noticing and asking about the figures. Nice job” - “Cool. Wow. I thought it was a collage! Very impressive!” - “It definitely made me stop and stare” - “The people? I saw it. It’s very appealing.” - “Dude they look awesome! plus because you can see it through the library doors it made me want to walk inside the library just to see it!”
Our intervention was much of a success as people were drawn to the spot immediately when they entered the library and have been fascinated by it. We wanted to make people realize the unused space and actually make them want to sit there not necessarily now, but later in the future too.

Studio: Human Factors

Project Duration: 2 Weeks

Completed: November 2011

  • Space Diagram
  • Mapping of Prior Activities
  • Proposal
  • Intervention
  • Mapping of activities after the intervention
  • Mapping before and after