How can we affect people's behavior with digital-physical prototypes?

We examine how new initiatives can help to encourage and motivate citizens to use urban spaces in new ways.

In connection with a major redesign of the Vester Voldgade area, we have initiated a number of experimental projects. Copenhagen Solutions Lab is in charge of the initiative, Street Lab, where new sensors are being tested in connection with air pollution, waste management and traffic management. This have given rise to a need and desire for testing new activities together with citizens that can help change our behavior in urban spaces.

The Alexandra Institute's Interactive Spaces Lab has many years of experience in developing and designing digital installations integrated into the physical space and we have extensive experience in supporting a desired atmosphere in specific urban spaces and in contributing to new public spaces for a wide audience.

In this project we will test a number of design principles that can help appeal to the citizens and at the same time contribute to and inspire a broad debate about how big data can affect our way of using the physical space.

The project management as well as the primary development is handled by the Alexandra Institute, as well as the qualitative and quantitative measurements and evaluation.

(photo: Gehl Architects)

The project will develop a fundamental physical shape that is metaphorically based on the tree and the plantings. For decades, the tree has been considered part of the public space and, in many ways, it symbolizes the recreational area in the physical urban environment. We find it interesting to start with the physical form of a tree as it has many references for citizens across culture, nationality and traditions.

In the prototype process we will let the digital track be transforming. Sensors will continually provide us with new knowledge about who and how many people pass at what time, who stops, and who spends time at the installation. Depending on the behavioral patterns, the digital shade will transformed as regards soundscape and light.

We will invite to several citizen involvement events where citizens will be able to provide input and ideas.

With this project we see a unique opportunity to systematically test design principles, where the digital and physical aspects are brought into play in new ways. How can we incorporate the otherwise invisible digital footprints in a tactile and meaningful way in our urban spaces? What value can digital data have for citizens and how can they contribute to generate new behaviors and contribute to the social meeting?

Several times we have experienced that the digital-physical prototypes that have been developed for an urban space has had a major success - both in relation to the physical context, but also in relation to the social and the immediate environment.

In the current project we will go deeper into the evaluation. We will continue to look at how the installations can meet the desired effects and confirm or disconfirm a number of assumptions. This will be done both through qualitative data collection such as interviews, observations and interview guides, as well as through quantitative data collection by means of sensors mounted in the urban space.

We have a high level of experience in the development and design of digital solutions.

Contact us for more information!

IT-City of Katrinebjerg

Åbogade 34

8200 Aarhus N
+45 70 27 70 12