2010 runners up

Well done to all our 2010 design teams

Team B Street Stop

Team B

Our brief was to create a universal design intervention with the surrounding environment with advisement from design partner to improve its overall inclusivity with visual spatial, mobility, service or communication terms in the Grafton Street area.

Grafton street is the main shopping street in Dublin, when the area around the street is included it is generally considered to be the primary retail core of the City.

Grafton Street attracts huge crowds throughout the year and these quantities of visitors are expected to increase in the coming years. With the future completion of major transport projects in the area the expected pedestrian traffic being delivered to the Stephens Green end of Grafton Street will reach 35,000 people per hour.

The busyness of Grafton along with the crowds that its attracts creates its famous street vitality and atmosphere. However, due to the sheer volume of people on the street this sometimes can become uncomfortable, over bearing and disorientating.

There are few opportunities to rest and orientate yourself on the street and the lack of these simple facilities often leads to users enduring uncomfortable experiences or being reluctant to visit the city.

Our proposal seeks to create a more comfortable and inclusive experience of Grafton Street by providing a circuit of rest/navigation points around the Grafton Street Area. Public open space in this part of the city is limited and required by many different services and users. We identified that there were a number of car parking spaces off Grafton Street that could be utilized as rest/orientation points or streetstops.

The ‘Street Stop’ circuit that is developed around Grafton Street establishes a number of alternative routes for users. The interventions are strategically located off the Grafton side streets. These are easily navigated towards and found, and it is equally easy to return to Grafton Street. The interventions offer an oasis within the hustle and bustle of the Grafton Street Area for all city users.

The intervention is a modular, removable unit for use in the Grafton St area to replace empty car parking spaces which will perform the following functions:

  • Give information on local amenities
  • Navigation to and access to required facilities
  • Rest / respite from the city
  • Promote footfall away from the major artery of Grafton St

The design of the unit promotes use by the population in its entirety, including individuals with disabilities.

The design embodies the seven principles of universal design:

  1. Equitable Use
  2. Flexibility in Use
  3. Simple and Intuitive Use
  4. Perceptible Information
  5. Tolerance for Error
  6. Low Physical Effort
  7. Size and Shape for Approach and Use

The unit will also promote the application of the principles of universal design in the Dublin context at national and international levels.

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Team C The ParaSites!

Team C

We identified a number of issues that affected all persons following our
walkabout with our Designated Partner and by referencing CEN/CENELEC
Guide 6 Table 7. After many hours of deliberation we decided that the following
were our priorities:

  • lack of facilities for communicating information
  • protection from rain and sun
  • no public space seating in the Grafton Street area

All of the above required rigorous brainstorming to find resolution(s).
The lamp-posts became our focal point due to their positioning along arterial
routes. Our first decision was that access to information was required.
Furthermore, due to the congestion encountered in the Grafton Street area it was
decided that we utilise the unused street lamps for this purpose. They were also
to become the location for seeking help and information. It was decided that Wi-
Fi would be available and Grafton Buddies (personal interaction) would come to
assist if required.

The Grafton Buddies would be ‘Volunteers’ – Students, Job Seekers, Retired
persons and other interested parties who would give their services for free and
have a good local knowledge. Tipping would be permissible but not compulsory.
The provision of these Buddies would be advantageous to all persons and all
nationalities (Wi-Fi translation and internationally recognised pictograms).

Our design intervention consists of:

  • A ‘Lily’ shaped canopy constructed with two rings and spokes of aluminium tubing
  • A place to shelter whatever the weather
  • The covering is a tensile fabric stretched over the frame
  • Colour changing LED lighting will surround the lower and upper rings
  • Seating is of moulded recycled plastic that is easy to sanitise
  • Billboards are the rubber matting surrounding the lamp-post and will be
    available in various colours (seasonal changes)*
  • Information plates – colour coded e.g. Dublin Bus Timetable – Yellow/Navy, Luas – Grey/Purple, Pictograms, etc.
  • Finally altogether a ParaSite was born!

*Advertising - events, stores, etc. will pay for the ongoing maintenance – funding to be sought from the Grafton Street Tenants Associations.

It is proposed that the suggested locations are as follows:

  • Top of Grafton Street opposite Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre
  • Bottom of Grafton Street beside Molly Malone
  • On Johnson’s Place on the corner of Lower Stephen’s Street and South
  • William Street beside the Hairy Lemon
  • St. Andrew Street adjacent to the Tourist Office (Bord Failte)
  • unction of Castle Street and Dame Lane

The ParaSites will be a point of orientation – meet your friends and family -
après match, if lost, etc.

The Grafton Buddies they will ensure that your Grafton Street Environ shopping or recreational trip goes off without a hitch.

Our proposals are cost effective, flexible, achievable and are usable by ALL

The ParaSite will see you alright

During the day and also the night

Providing shelter from the rain and snow

It also gives shade from the sun as it glows

A place to meet up when out on the town

No need to be lost or wear a frown

Info, Wi-Fi and Buddies for you

And LED lights will brighten your view!

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Team DSlí Grafton information system

Team D

Rosaleen is 81. Her eyesight is deteriorating. She described the deterioration as she loves following Wimbledon and last year was the first year she couldn’t follow the ball. Rosaleen has friends in the same position who have given in to their ailment but she enjoys and values her independence and being active.

Rosaleens story is not unique to her as thousands of people regardless of abilities enjoy being out and about and being independent not only at home in environments they know but ones they don’t.
Slí Grafton is a new and unique experience for people whether they are tourists or locals to engage with the local environment. The product has been designed to allow not only Rosaleen but anyone regardless of ability to find their way around the Grafton street area in a way that it does not impede them.

How does it do this?

The team looked at how Rosaleen struggled with signage throughout the Grafton street area and how it was difficult to see. There seemed to be a bombardment of information about where to go and no real reference to where you are. With this in mind we began to look at what was common on every street. We seen manhole covers, telephone points, traffic lights etc. We also began to look at the things people had to do in this environment to move around. We had seen that everyone had to engage with traffic lights. We also observed that traffic lights changed colour at roughly 20 second intervals.

This was time people had to spend waiting to cross the road safely. This time frame was ample to express a soundbyte of information about the current location and streets immediately adjacent to the location as well as a question and answer on local interests.

Slí Grafton is a unit that is a retro fit to standard traffic lights. It utilises the immediate power source that also powers the traffic light. It has a speaker to engage sight impaired users, a vandal proof screen that engages hearing impaired users. It conveys information about the current location and streets adjacent and asks an informative question on local interest. This all happens in the time it takes the red light to change to green.

The system provides a safety element by encouraging individuals to engage with the system which is actively dispensing information when the red light is showing. This distracts the individual for this duration until it is safe to cross at which point the light has turned green and the information ceases to be conveyed. The premise being that the individual will be at the traffic light for a given time so they will gain from a normally mundane experience.

This innovative new system will inform people how to get around Grafton Street and educate them about key features in the Grafton street area.

The system could be adapted for commercial advertisements and cultural event information.

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