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This is a sustainable design for smart cities developed from a user research point of view, in order to bring real solutions to real necessities.
 A Design for All Beach Shower

 This is a sustainable design for smart cities developed from a user research point of view, in order to bring real solutions to real necessities.

The client asked us to come up with an idea
-Technologically advanced
-Smart Slow Cities for the future
-To improve the efficiency of the cites from a new idea or necessity

The first thing to do to achieve that was to make the following research:

At Barcelona city. Barcelona is the 10th of the 50 most visited cities in the world. That is not by chance, it is the result of Barcelona´s main economic strategy, which is that almost all of it includes the urban tourist industry.
Also, Barcelona is the only European city with beaches downtown. Besides, the Mediterranean weather, the parks, and the mountains make it the perfect place to enjoy a walk or a ride on a bike.

Everyone that uses these places to enjoy the city.

The people use the urban spaces in many different ways depending on the reason for them to go to that place.

We have used a research tool called "field notes" which allow us to see more clearly the behavior of the people interacting with these urban spaces so we can establish new points of view.

Note: This is an adaptation of the actual showers in order to solve a problem or a necessity that was not taken into account. Handicapped users that go to the beach too, as well as elder people or other disabled persons would not be able to use the shower because it doesnt have a chair. So, It was not designed for everybody...

This was a clue saying we should go deeper and find out more about what was going on here. This were the problems I found:

1-Its not designed for everybody: It doesn't have a chair designed for disable people and the one they are using is limiting the use of that particular shower to that small percentage of people. Also the button is hard to press and is slippery.

2- These showers don't have a place to put your things while you are taking the shower.

3- The ones that have the body shower don't have a shower for the feet and vice-versa.

4- The water gets activated for 20 seconds when the button works well but as it starts to get damaged (very often) it lasts longer or shorter. That means the water is wasted or the button gets misstreated until it is replaced.

5- Is not easy to clean your feet because there isn't any place to hold on to, the shower is slippery and if you fall you can hit yourself very hard with the steal, or fall on the half-rotten floor and nail a wood splinter.

6- It is very hard to do the maintenance job because not only for the button but also because of the bottom part of the shower where the sewage goes. It takes 40 minutes or so to do it, because the cleaning person has to get into the container of the sewer to get rid of the dirt and other solid "things" that fall into it pick it up with a shovel and put it all in another container outside; load it in the truck and then take it to a landfill where it can be thrown away. It’s important to say that this cleaning process takes place every 2 or 3 weeks, so it gets very smelly, even more so when the people use it as a restroom.

But not everything was bad. Tthere were things working and we can not ignore:

1- The chair is working so far for those who need it.
2- There are people using the chair as a place to put their things while thy clean their feet, their kids or themselves.

Also, I had to take into account the following things to design:

1- Not everyone uses the chair the same way, also, not everyone needs it, in fact not most of the users need it
2- Users don’t care about wasting water, so something should be done about that.
3- Even when the users are dressed, they use the shower to clean their feet, wash their faces to refresh themselves or to wash something.
4- The new design must be not only reliable and clean but it should be resistant through the time thinking that it will be receiving a lot of salty water and sun all the time.
5- It has to be easy to be taken off the beach because of the maintenance of the sand due to many reasons. For example, Barcelona’s beach sand is artificial and has to be replaced every now and then.
6- Try to reach Self-sustainability.
7- Sustainability

All of those points above are insights that can make possible a structure to start with. Let’s say a wire frame, a rational thinking without shape yet.

But this is going to be an important element in the beach and will be in plain sight of everyone so its important to design something in harmony with the elements that surround it.

So I inspired the shape and the aesthetics in general in the fusion of the two most important elements a beach has. Water and Earth, the energy they produce can be seen by our eyes as waves.

The wireframe combined with the inspiration in the final design:

It has two showers, one for the entire body with a chair that can be used by anyone who needs it, and a shower on the back for the feet that can be used to put the things on, it has a place to grab to. It has a touch water switch so it can be easy to activate and avoid the frequent replacement. It has a better way to get rid of the dirt with a simple filter system underneath it with a base that keeps the whole structure in place.

The white part has two parts, the chair and the rest of it made out entirely of polypropylene with a rotomolding process, and the floor made out of plastic-wood. These materials guarantee durability, safety, easy to take off, and sustainability including the economy factor.
To explain the performance of the design we must divide the shower in two, first the top side and then the bottom side.

It’s important that all the systems inside the cover be easy to access and easy to install but keeping in mind that we don’t want to give the water, the salt and the vandals free access. So the access gate is in the bottom at the back of the structure, as shown in the image, which can only be opened with a special key.
This is the entire shower
With a counterweight system the chair will stay up by default
The top has a polypropylene body to cover all the internal parts which are:

The touch water switch, a pair of electric valves, the electronic system and the energy generator to feed the electronic system that controls everything
In the following image we can appreciate the four nylon filters (painted in blue in the illustration) to capture solid particles, cleanable and reusable, making the maintenance process easier, possible to do it, and more frequently so it will avoid funny smells.
Watching the bottom part of the shower without the filters. There is a little inclination of the bottom of the pool that will make the water to fall through only one hole.
In the following image we can appreciate how the top part is joined with the bottom by a stainless steel ring to guarantee the straightness of the structure. We will use the beach´s sand to fill the inside of the base to give it mass and make it heavier in order to keep the stability. Also, there is the way in for the clean water pipes and the way out.
Some measures
 This is the presentation I made to present the project to the client