Techical Design, Interaction Design, Public Engagement , Project Coordination, Graphic Design, Layout, Logo design
Connect fort was a large scale public blanket fort designed to be a inclusive space for people to meet and connect. My team of four tested and debuted the design at a one day pop-up as part of the CityStudio and Viva Vancouver event Bridge Warming and saw over 400 guests come through. After our event I designed the poster and report for the project.
At Citystudio Vancouver you are challenged to take problems and issues facing Vancouver that are close to your heart. Alyssa Quan, Riley McLeod, Olivia Hui and Myself teamed up to create a space where community members could gather during dark winter evenings.
We started looking around at what others had done in the space of public space events such as the sleep out in Edinburgh. We tried to find out why gathering was important to us and the community. I contacting stakeholders in the community like Union Gospel Mission who guided our project in terms of it giving back to the community.
Our initial ideas were a Blanket Fort, a campfire spot, and a hot chocolate social. We wanted to find ways that would be visually appealing, and offer a low barrier activity for participants to join in. These ideas all incorporated a draw and reason to stay.
The original hot chocolate idea didn’t align with our zero waste goals as it would have created a great deal of unnecessary waste. We began to focus in on what could be inside a blanket fort like hot chocolate in mugs and how it could serve the community. This lead to looking at different layouts for space and physical forms. We prototyped different types of structures and designs.
Our final form was a roughly 450 square foot blanket fort, comprised of 3 borrowed pop-up tent frames and several dozen donated blankets sewn into a custom cover. I was responsible for the layout and structural design of the fort, along with graphic design and signage. Inside we served hot chocolate, while people could sit around our faux fire, or play with the lego or different games we provide. We collected bags of donations for union gospel mission as a way to ensure our project was supporting not just the people in it but other who are struggling in the winter.
Main take aways
Connect Fort was an absolutely inspirational project. Every piece of feedback from community members was positive. I learned a lot about working with other stakeholders and aligning your goals to thrive together. It also was great experience doing design and fabrication and realization of a project.