Connect in Motion

Countering the loneliness epidemic and revitalising public spaces through civic technology products that stimulate human connections in our built environments.
Summary
How might we turn human contact into human connection by using transport hubs to facilitate spontaneous moments of joy through a shared experience - bringing awareness and visibility to those around us?
What we did

Workshops
Wireframing
UX/UI Design
Webflow Development

Love Theme
Provoke
Love Category
Us and Them
Designer
Angus Bamford
Connect in Motion

Overview

Contact without connection creates greater loneliness, yet love is the bridge that turns contact into connection. Cities are spaces where we pass thousands of people every day as we move through life. We used to have to interact with people to figure out things out like which way you have to go or when you wish to grab a coffee or train ticket. Today and into the future, our cities will be more automated and self-serviced. As our cities and lives in them get smarter and more efficient we are unconsciously breaking connections with those around us that we have previously required. The impact of this is that we are further isolating those who rely on these face-to-face services and spontaneous interactions as their primary source of social connection. We must remind ourselves of the importance of the random conversation or moment of humour we might share with a stranger. It might just mean more than we think for the other person.

Studies have evidenced this trend with stark data on loneliness in our cities with 52% of Londeres considering themselves lonely (Guardian).

With growing awareness of Mental Health and the importance of social interactions for our individual, social and cultural well-being, this project challenges our cities to be more loving and contribute to our health outcomes. Making not just smarter cities but more connected and loving cities.

One opportune location is the station - a space where we dwell, waiting around before the train arrives with time to give.

  1. The dead time of waiting for the train presents the opportunity to turn our stations into a facilitatory space for connecting commuters.

  1. The large endless advertisement screens present the platform to engage those in the space.

Bringing design to life

In this project, we challenge the direction of smart city innovation. Using the same sorts of technology used to sell products and services, we instead uplight people's spirits and make them feel seen, through facilitating joyous interactions.

Key Insights

  1. Loneliness is an epidemic - Cities are worst hit

This journey began with a pervasive issue—the loneliness epidemic. In an increasingly digitised world, where we often work in solitude, and get everything we need online, we find ourselves becoming evermore alone today between 5 and 18% of UK adults feel lonely often or always. (Department for Culture, Media & Sport UK Government - A connected society, tackling loneliness)

Cities, in particular, exacerbate this problem, with 52% of Londoners last year considering themselves lonely -, making London the loneliest place in Britain (Guardian). As poetically said by Georg Simmel “One nowhere feels as lonely and lost as in the metropolitan crowd”.

  1. Many consumer technology products (notably AR/VR & AI), are decreasing our need to connect with people in physical spaces - from self-checkouts to Apple Vision Pro


In a world where directions are provided by our phones, buying a snack is self-served and music surrounds us as we journey through life, we are becoming ever more individual in our fulfilment of daily needs. Given this, we see a decrease in those softer human connections in our daily lives such as the shopkeeper, chemist or fellow commuter.


Starting with our Smartphone and now with the advent of VR and the recent Apple Vision Pro no more is it just our phones drawing our heads down and our Airpods blocking our ears out but now it will be our eyes too – a future where the physical world, consisting of fellow persons, becomes the background to our digital world. This project aims to question this future, highlighting the importance of our human connections for our collective well-being and happiness. If loneliness is a feeling that stems from a sense of being invisible, how might we make people visible again – the shopkeeper, chemist or fellow passenger? A connection in the real world.

How might we use technology to not remove but actively stimulate interactions that turn human contact in our cities into human connections?

Design Concept

An interactive digital public art installation designed to cultivate spontaneous shared experiences of joy among commuters, in a station.

Placed strategically within bustling transport hubs, this installation captures the attention of waiting passengers. The installation mirrors passengers' movements in abstract form, using human motion tracking and gesture recognition to create content displayed on advertisement boards or through projections. Through visual and/or written prompts, passengers are encouraged to interact with the screen, fostering real-time connections through intrigue and humour.

Accessibility:

Using predominantly visual and motion cues to engage the audience, the installation is culturally agnostic and accessible for nearly everyone, regardless of ability and language. This installation could exist just the same in London, Shanghai, Sydney or Cairo.

Desired Outcome:

The installation aims to create moments of social connection and joy for all who encounter it, in a low-effort and safe way. Facilitating genuine interactions in real life and in real-time, it serves as a soft but impactful countermeasure to urban loneliness, through the simple moment of visibility and acknowledgement of another.

Awareness Campaign:

Interactions with the installation are filmed to support an awareness campaign against loneliness in cities. The campaign aims to highlight the importance of continual interactions in building a sense of place and community – Spreading awareness of the issue to a wider audience. Social Media sharing can help spread the message post-events.

Replicability:

A modular, and accessible design that uses existing infrastructure such as the advertisement boards, allows this interactive experience to be replicable at various locations globally, from shopping centres to public development spaces, stations and more. Built as a software program with installation support ensures that its potential impact can reach urban communities worldwide.

Impact:

The interactive digital public art installation captivates audiences and encourages connections between individuals with its innovative approach. Positive emotional responses, such as smiles and laughter, contribute to uplifting and memorable experiences. Beyond its immediate event, the installation aims to spark conversations and foster connections, representing a tangible step towards creating more vibrant and connected urban environments that promote mental well-being.

First Prototypes

There are numerous ways to encourage interactions in public spaces using screens and projections. Eight interaction types were presented. Further concept development and refinement with specialists in the interactive digital installation space will help narrow down options based on viability/feasibility and potential impact.

Selected work

Love in with us

We believe in making life-long love connections through great design.

"Working with Project Love is...Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.
"This project expands the vocabulary of design and takes creativity to new territories that enhance our empathy and compassion for others."
"It has been incredible to see how design has been so simply and subconsciously integrated in how we give and recieve love. What can we design for the next modern century to experience?"
"I’ve thought a lot about love, as no doubt many people have. But working on project love is a revelation because the design element makes all sorts of aspirations and hopes so tangible"
1

Research

We begin by thoroughly researching the full spectrum of love and it's target audience, as well as goals for the project. This helps us understand what Love means in different dimensions and how we can understand the insights to build new prototypes.
2

Ideation

Next, we bring together our team of designers and senior business leaders to brainstorm and generate new ideas of Love based on the insights we found. We take a collaborative approach to ensure that we come up with the innovative and modern approaches to fostering love.
3.

Prototype

We begin the low-fidelity design process, creating wireframes of conceptual engaging assets that align with your our goals with Fetzer.
4

Outcome

Finally, we bring everything together in the deliver phase, building and testing our high-fidelity product to ensure that it meets our target audiences needs and is ready for launch.

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Do you have an idea with Project Love? Send us an email and get in touch.