Public Rooms + Tech (week 11)

Problem: People are not using public spaces.

People are tired of government initiatives trying to improve public spaces by only adding more soccer fields or parks.  Human Center Desing of public spaces led Solar4Revolution to create public smart rooms built under vulnerable people’s need (the real ones). While parks and soccer fields are crucial in providing public spaces for relaxing and to use it unlimited and free-advertising areas, the new approach looks for building public spaces to provide complementary areas for vulnerable people restricted at home to live comfortable.

Imagine a kid at 7 p.m. It is time for working on the school assignment. A single mother, after working 9 hours in downtown coming back to home and look at the kid ready to a) watch TV or b) work on the assignments. Watching TV sometimes is simple because is a matter of turning a device on. Doing homework relies on having a comfortable space, lighted enough, warm enough during summer and cool enough during winter, having tool for researching online (wifi), a computer, etc. This is an example of how to use the public smart rooms to provide a small family from a vulnerable zone a space for doing what they would do at home but in a public space.

The public smart room model requires a couple of them per street at each block in vulnerable areas. It has a registering process, first come first serve, but limited for purposes. The rooms are energized by the use of solar technology, batteries to work until 11 p.m. It has a transparent shape and it has responsive features to provide a space that address people’s needs. For seniors, it provides one service, for young people too, as well as for adults. The key is to be flexible and responsive enough to provide all the people living in vulnerable areas a comfortable space that invite to navigate the neighborhood at night. Figure 1 shows 2 models analyzed to be deployed.

model 1

Figure 1: Architecture for public rooms.

The technological aspects of public rooms are the challenges of how smart we can make them. Technology for public smart rooms follows three steps. First, using technology for data collection and therefore understand people’demands. Second, using existent tech solutions to provide the rooms an smart sense for interacting people. Finally, once data collected is analyzed and share with experts, it is time to be creative and built or improve the rooms to be human center designed.


Find a neighborhood where people have no incentives to use public spaces.

Agree in implementing a prototype.

Raise funds for investing in the deployment of the new infrastructure.


By Gabriel Guggisberg (gg2642)


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