A easy to assemble and disassemble double story pavilion made with reusable and flexible elements that can be employed by restaurants to build outdoor dining spaces.
TemporFlex was my thesis project at Parsons School of Design. As a product designer, I stepped outside my comfort zone by thinking about how I could use design thinking to help an environmental problem occurred in the city. As opposed to product design, this project challenged me to think about the bigger picture of design and consider stakeholders differently.
Tool Used -
Rhinoceros 3d, KeyShot, Illustrator, Photoshop, Twinmotion
Coronavirus has continued to spread all over the world. Many deaths and heartbroken separations are happening day by day. The pandemic crushed the way the world used to run and pushed the government, businesses, local communities, and families to face some tough decisions. To keep people safe, we need to be conscious of staying in the distance and reduce unnecessary interaction with others. The government even shut down indoor dining, which put the restaurant industry in danger. Restaurants are closing; people are losing jobs. The closure even causes the community to lose opportunities for interaction in real life.
Problem Space .
During COVID-19, dining in restaurants became very dangerous, resulting in many restaurants closing down. The city started setting up outdoor dining areas in order to help the restaurant industry. However, the permanent outdoor dining structure takes up a lot of sidewalk space, making the city even more inaccessible.
Restaurants were allowed to use sidewalks and curb lanes as eating space through the government's Open Restaurants program. More than 11,000 restaurants have used the program and offer outdoor dining for their patrons. Besides Open Restaurants, the Open Streets program that closes entire streets to pedestrians enables restaurants to expand their dining spaces beyond their physical limitations and nearly 1600 locations are involved.
A new dynamic has emerged in the city as a result of outdoor dining. With so many stakeholders involved in this new transformation, there was still much to be refined for the outdoor dining space. One of the biggest problems was the placement of tables and chairs on the street, which made the sidewalk much narrower and inaccessible to pedestrian.
Existing Solution and Benchmarking .
Brainstorm and Concept Development .
Based on my research and interviews, I identified the challenges of existing outdoor dining spaces and developed design criteria.
My design concepts centered around improving the dining experience, expanding restaurant seating capacity, and ensuring that it was convenient to build.
Instead of the sidewalk, I decided to use space in the sky. Expandable so it can be flat packed when not in use; elevated structure to provide more seating capacity.
Due to time constraints, I figured picking a specific location would make the project more feasible. Therefore, Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District appealed to me due to its wider streetscape and high density of restaurants.
Moreover, outdoor dining has been successful in that neighborhood, so locating my project there would enable me to think deeper about how to improve the space and what future opportunities it could offer.
Expert Interviews with DOT and the Restaurant Owner .
Site Study .
Section View Study .
The section view study helps me to see what are the existing elements on the site. The proposal I want to make is to replace the more built structure with a modular system that allows the restaurant owner to add seats easily. More, adding the biophilia concept into the design for enhancing the dining experience.
Circulation Study of Stakeholders
Outdoor dining involves complex stakeholder relationships; there are many interactions between groups. Understanding how each group moves in space is therefore important. I made a circulation diagram that shows each stakeholder's path. And patrons, pedestrians, restaurant workers, and receptionists are the four groups of stakeholders.
I proposed a wider sidewalk for each stakeholder by replacing the current dining structure with my design. The diagram also helps me decide where to place stairs in the elevation space.