COLLAPSIBLE LECTURE HALL
Introduction
This Behance is the documentation of my project for the second module in Design Making at UNL.  The project question was: "how might we harvest and optimize the space between the body and built environment?"  Every day there are hundreds of points where we interact with the built environment in some way.  Whether it is walking on carpet or opening a door.  The built envirinment not only is there but it often times shapes the way we experience life.
This project, like ost all design projects used the process of starting with Empathy and moving through the Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test Stages
Empathy
Initial Observation
In order to understand how to design something between the body and built environment, it was important to first analyze and understand points were the body and built environment meet.  These 9 pictures are just a few places that I found where the body is already interacting with the built environment.
Space Observation
After beginning to get an undestanding of how we interact with the built evironent I narrowed in on two specific locations that I thought offered some potential.  These two places were the outlet, and a guardrail.
The Outlet
When looking at the typical outlet, at first it was hard to get anywhere because it has just been designed pretty much the same way for so long.  However, I began to find a unique situation and problem when I thought about an outlet at my house.  The problem with this outlet is that it is hidden behind our couch so it is reall dificult to get to.
This joiner shows the space wee the outlet is located.
This is a dimensioned section and plan view of the space.
This diagram shows how dificult it is to reach beind the couch.  It also shows how little space there is to plug things in.
The Guardrail
The guardrail that I am looking at in this situation is a bit unusual.  It is a guardrail made of steel cables to prevent people from going into a gap between the floor and wall in an unfinished part of my church.  These cables intregued me because though they are there to prevent people from going to close to the gap, for church middle school students it becomes and inviting play ground.  I wanted to loook at how to design in situations where people tend to do exactly the opposite of what the goal is. (i.e. climb on a guardrail that is supposed to keep you safe)
This joiner shows the cable running along parallel to the wall.  The student in this picture is a seventh grader who frequently climbs over, and sits on the cable.
This is a dimensioned section and plan view of the space.
This diagram shows the negative space created when the student is sitting on the cable
This is a sketch of different positions that the students have when interacting with the guardrail.  It also shows one student down in the gap, which is about a foot deep.
This is a sketch of an idea to actually invite kids to sit on these rails in a safer way by creating chairs that use the cable as support.
The outlet and guardrail had interesting qualities but they lacked much of a specific interaction.  The guardrail especially had no action that was defined by the built environment.  Because of this, I decided to switch directions and go with a new space.
The Lecture Hall Seat
The lecture hall seat is a part of the built environment that nearly every collage student encounters.  The lecture hall seats are very generic and prefabricated seats that are very easy to install and fit a lot of people into a single room.  However because of this they have caused some problems for students.  The lecture hall that I used for my design is Hamilton 104.  A room in Hamilton Hall, one of the buildings on UNL's city campus.  This lecture hall has seats similar to a theatre, only with the exception of the fold away desks.  The next step in my process was to document all that is associated with the lecture hall seats in order to find any problems worth solving.
This sketch is a rough diagram of how the body interactis with the chair.  The shaded area is the negative space that provides room for movement and trafic.
This diagram takes the sketch from above into digital form.  The chairs ared also 3d models to create a better sense of the space.
Define
Define
Diagramatic Analysis
Diagramatic Analysis
The negative space created by both people and belongings such as backpacks and purses allows us to better understand the space we have to work with.
One of the biggest issues with the lecture hall seats is passing someone to get to your desk.  I have personally found this to be one of the most awkward situations and it is just difficult in general.
Two aspects that make passing so dificult are current desk movement systems, and also seating positions.  Both of these leave either the person sitting in the seat or the desk sitting out in the walkway.
The two biggest problems I found with the current seats are the issue of passing, and the act of moving the desk.
Another issue that has to do with the lecture hall seating in general is the issue of seat location in relation to grade.  the diagram on the left shows the difference in GPA from front row to back row.  One sub goal of my project is to address this.
There are several types of students that are typically in lecture halls.  Looking at who they are, what they do and where they sit offers ideas about how to improve the space for the users that fill it.
There are several types of students that are typically in lecture halls.  Looking at who they are, what they do and where they sit offers ideas about how to improve the space for the users that fill it.
Movement in the seats is fairly controlled but looking at different movements still allows us to understand better the space created
These diagrams are based off of the diagrams above and show the negative space created.
POV Statement
POV Statement
Based off of the issues found through diagraming and analysis, the lecture hall seat needs to better accompany individual student's needs as well as allow for easier circulation and movement.
Based off of the issues found through diagraming and analysis, the lecture hall seat needs to better accompany individual student's needs as well as allow for easier circulation and movement.
Ideation
Ideation
Sketches
Sketches
The first part of my ideation was a quick brainstorm of ten different possible solutions.  I used a standard template and sketched over it to quickly represent my different ideas.
The first part of my ideation was a quick brainstorm of ten different possible solutions.  I used a standard template and sketched over it to quickly represent my different ideas.
This is a free moving desk that sits on the student's lap.  This allows students to easily move it out of the way of trafic.
This design is almost exactly the same as the current design, only the desk can fold in half giving thise passing through more room to walk.
This idea places the responsibility to move out of the way not on the student behind but the student in front.  Allowing the student behind to keep all of his or her belongings on the desk.
This desk folds up in the same way the seats do.
This desk is essentially a fold down trey table, similar to one in an airplane.
This is an overhead desk that was inspired by roller coaster harnesses and simplifies the movement.
This desk is attache to the armrests and pops up high enough to allow someone to pass underneath.
This is a sysem where both the desks and seats slide into the floor and and then pop up when the student enters and wants to use them.
This desk is made of small pieces of wood and when pulled tight they come together to form a solid surface, but when left loose, they hang down next to the seat.
Prototyping
Prototyping
After these first ten ideas I narrowed my focus down to the two ideas I thought had the most potential (the "pop-up seats and desks" and the "drawstring desk") and I began to explore these designs more by prototyping both physical models and diagrams.
After these first ten ideas I narrowed my focus down to the two ideas I thought had the most potential (the "pop-up seats and desks" and the "drawstring desk") and I began to explore these designs more by prototyping both physical models and diagrams.
Pop-Up Seats and Desks
Pop-Up Seats and Desks
Physical Model
Physical Model
Diagrams
Diagrams
Axonometric sketch showing rows with pop up seats and desks.
Axonometric sketch showing rows with pop up seats and desks.
Different positions the desk and seat can be in.
Axonometric view of the seat and desk movement.
Physical Model
Physical Model
Drawstring Desk
Drawstring Desk
These two sketches are divergent ideation surround the idea of using small pieces of wood to create various forms and shapes that would create the seat and desk.
Negative space diagram.
This diagram shows the different positions of the desk.
Axonometric of how the seats would look.
Physical Model
Physical Model
Desk up.
Desk being moved out of the way.
Desk down.
New idea using the same pieces but having them for both the seat and desk.
New idea using the same pieces but having them for both the seat and desk.
Final Prototyping
Final Prototyping
The modular and movable qualities of the pop up seat and desk caused me to use that idea for my final product.  These last prototypes deal with form, materials, and mechanics.
The modular and movable qualities of the pop up seat and desk caused me to use that idea for my final product.  These last prototypes deal with form, materials, and mechanics.
This sketch shows the seat backs having an angle to them with the chairs following that sae angle.  It also explores the idea of having the desk unfold up rather than slide up.
This sketch looks at the storage space underneath seats.
This is a model testing a new material.  I didn't like this material as much because though is has some unique aesthetic value, it the seats and desk would not be able to be walked on when down because the shape wouldn't meet codes.
This is a model testing a new material. I didn't like this material as much because though is has some unique aesthetic value, it the seats and desk would not be able to be walked on when down because the shape wouldn't meet codes.
This is a mechanism similar to a pen that allows the seats to lock in the ground and then pop up when pushed down.
Testing
Final Model
The final model is a 1:8 scale model of four seats.  This picture shows the different desk and seat positions and the scale figure shows how the student would ineract with the space.  It is made of wood to show the actual materiality of the design.  The desks have a slightly different system of moving, they are panels that slide along each other rather than telescoping rods.  The seat backs also have a 15 degree angle to them alowing more comfort fot the students.
Different Desk Positions
Final Presentation
Analysis Board
Final Product Board
Conclusion
This project really stretched me to work on using diagraming and prototype to analyze spaces and designs, as well as ideate and explore new ideas and designs.  It also forced me to work on presentation in order to convey the ideas I had, and to show the work I had done.  I was pushed out of my comfort zone but that just helped me work harder to improve my project and come up with better ideas and designs.  I was excited about the final product that I created.  Even as I go back to class in that lecture hall, all I can think about is how I wish my design could actually be impimented because it would help so much.  I really believe in this design and I proud to finally have it finished.
COLLAPSIBLE LECTURE HALL
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COLLAPSIBLE LECTURE HALL

THERE ARE MANY PROBLEMS WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE TYPICAL LECTURE HALL SEAT. THIS PARTICULAR LOCATION IS THE LECTURE HALL IN HAMILTON. THESE DIAGRAMS Read More
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