project leader
Emily M
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the project

Although Boston is a relatively small city, it's far too easy for the people we pass by to remain strangers to us, especially when our common ground may not always be immediately obvious. Furthermore, when it comes to striking up conversation, not everyone will always be in the mood to talk. Ideally, at any given moment, public spaces should facilitate interaction between people who feel like socializing, while simultaneously giving some space to the people who feel like keeping to themselves. My third space experiment is a shaded outdoor coworking lounge that attempts to embrace this dichotomy while bringing folks together over something as simple as the need to sit and think.


The outdoor coworking lounge is a place where anyone can stop to get some work done without shutting out their urban surroundings. Additionally, each spot comes with a two-sided paperweight tethered to the table in front of every seat, which doubles as a social cue. The paperweight is green on one side and red on the other, and each person decides which side faces up at their seat. If the green side is up, it indicates that the person is open to conversation (respectful conversation at that--while we can't prevent unpleasant encounters altogether, a set of rules and courtesy tips should be clearly posted in the space). If the red side is up, it signals that the person would like more distance or focus, and would prefer to sit undisturbed. Since all people in the space would have indicated whether or not they are open to talk, the space allows for connection that is more instantaneous and genuine, yet less disruptive. The idea of an object symbolizing one's current openness to conversation can also be applied to existing public fixtures such as dining area tables.

the steps

Stay tuned!

why we're doing it

My hope is that this design will help Bostonians harness potential connections that could otherwise slip past us, and that it will help Boston feel even more like a neighborhood.


SUBTOTAL = 5,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $250
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $150

$3000 - Materials / hiring workers to assemble the fixture
$1000 - Installation at site
$1000 - Smaller parts like paperweights, charging ports, etc.


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