outdoor furniture system for creating interaction in the Las Fuentes neighborhood

design reearch
inclusive design
interaction design
product design

How to intervene in public space with keeping in mind the desire and needs of residents using it?

How to connect different generations through outdoor furniture design?

How to shape objects, so they resonate with the culture and identity of the area?

The only important thing about design is how it relates to people. Design, in whatever form, whether products, buildings, patterns, interactions or graphics is about people. Designers design for people. They make for people. They care about people.

(Victor Papanek)

3 generations interacting by using the fuenturniture outdoor furniture system

This project is based on research about urban furniture to create a series of elements that reconfigure the urban space of the Torre Ramona park walkway in the city of Zaragoza, Spain. To this end, modules were made that comply with current regulations and are designed for the participation and interaction of both children and the elderly. An outdoor furniture system with elements of rest and meeting at the same time are an intervention which brings closer members of the neighborhood and reflects on new uses of street furniture.

Also, it was part of the MEDS workshop in Zaragoza, Spain, in the summer of 2022. MEDS “Meetings of Design Students” Workshop is an international workshop that takes part each summer in a different country, focusing on various issues, themes, topics, and settings that will help any designer expand their expertise. It is a chance to get in touch with diverse design approaches, building techniques, traditions, and skills. MEDS Workshop is both practical and educational because it focuses not only on creative theoretical designs but compels participants to execute these designs during the two weeks of the workshop.

︎ MEDS ‘Meeting of Design Students’

Project process

The project started with intense co-creation workshops where we brainstormed about which elements public furniture must have to connect with the elderly and younger and to be used for both sitting and playing, and how we can implement the culture of the area in objects we produce.

The next step was to visit the area and talk to residents about their habits and needs. From their stories, we concluded that engaging with different sitting social games is very important for their daily functioning, so we concluded that it was essential to implement this element in the furniture piece we make.Also, we mapped the space in a way that we documented in which way is every part of the area used and did dome prototyping on the intended installation spot.

Also, we mapped the space in a way that we documented in which way is every part of the area used and did dome prototyping on the intended installation spot.

mapping the location

After collecting this information, the next step was to develop the idea of the object itself. The basic idea was to simultaneously make an outdoor furniture piece, a sitting object, and a kind of toy - a puzzle.
The final solution consisted of displaying the abstracted quarter map, thus highlighting the cultural identity that served as a solution to the puzzle. I implemented different social games beneath the wooden panels - The Mill, The Ludo, and Game of the Goose.

One of the most memorable aspects of the project was the community's participation in placing the object at its designated location. Our team had worked hard to produce the object, but it was the collective effort of the community that made its placement truly special.

What made the experience even more meaningful was the fact that both children and the elderly tried and played with the object. It was heartening to see different generations come together and engage with something that we had created.

In summary, the project's highlight was not just the production of the object, but the community's involvement in placing it and the intergenerational connection that it fostered.

project that was a part of  Meeting of Design Students worhshop held in Zaragoza, Spain

tutors: Joseph John Murphy and Pelin Gunay