06.2020 |  Master thesis project

Altitudes is a systemic, circular and human centered furniture solution for controlled public spaces that responses on the users’ behaviours of sitting, leaning and placing things.

BACKGROUND

Knowing how to design according to sustainable principles without losing the attention on human needs, meaning being able to cooperate to decrease the impact of our life on the planet and at the same time turn the users into more aware consumers.
Therefore the thesis aims at exploring how can the sustainable business model be improved?
At the end of the research it has been proven that trying to meet people’s needs while minimizing environmental impact might be a better goal than achieving material circularity.
In this new framework designers become the driver of the transition in which they can decide to design led by people behaviours.

APPROACH

Since to improve the sustainable framework it is necessary to work on people – the socio
ethical dimension – the approach led by users’ behaviours is the best tool to achieve the goal.
It implies focusing on topics intead of object to be able to prioritize the human experience in the design process. It is also linked to sustainability because if we design objects that reflect the way everybody is living their life, it means being able to bring longevity and flexibility in the way of using them.

WORKSHOPS

They are developed as a co-brainstorming sessions and at the same time as tests in order to understand if the target chosen to improve the model – designers – is the right one.
They bring together a multidisciplinary team that normally would not work in group, in order to stimulate as imaginative as possible exploration phase and prevent short-cuts and saturated object driven idea.

REQUIREMENTS
CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT

With requirements in place I started exploring different shapes and combinations that could have expressed a system of different types of supports. I sketched minimal shapes to try to go on an abstract level and understand which features the system need to have. Then make paper mockups in scale in order to understand proportions.

PROTOTYPE

Without the possibility to prototype with full size mockups, I moved on 1:5 scale mockups in steel and aluminum which allowed me to test proportions, weights and assembly dynamics. I used the same production methods and materials that I would have used in case of a full size prototype to be able to estimate time, price and ease of costruction.

 

RESULT

Altitudes aims to answer to both the human and environmental needs thanks to a system focused on versatility and interchangeable parts, which makes it a sustainable solution. The main element of the structure can be configured in different variants, to be used individually or together, on different heights, in different lengths and facing various directions.
The series is made by two systems, both highly customizable in configurations and colors.
The system grows thanks to its modularity that makes it a sustainable solution. The repetition of the elements has been chosen to achieve a balance between flexibility and ease of assembly,  avoiding monotony.

Trying to meet people’s needs while minimizing environmental impact might be a better goal than achieving material circularity

Altitudes refers to the three dimensions of sustainability – planet, people and profit – by adding values to the existent public furniture solutions.
It is evolutive, meaning combinable, adaptable, adjustable and stackable. Strategic in context by fitting in private and public enviroments. Sustainable since it is made of long lasting and resistant materials and it can be renewed and it can assume different configurations, being able to adapt to change of context and need, without the necessity of discard parts of the system. It is flexible, meaning it can be used stand alone or together by combining different modules, facing different directions thanks to an adjustable angle connector. It is easy to assemble and disassemble and higly customizable in height, lenght and colors.
It brings innovations on a systematic level – how it is built and how it can be configured – and on interaction level – how people can use it, by seating, leaning, placing things, having a fast break, resting only the back, using as a hanger, etc..

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