Phase 1

METROLAB phase 1 explores new possibilities for user-centered mobility infrastructures

Redefining relations between infrastructure and its urban context through several case studies, the project explores the potential of innovative spatial designs for mobility poles. The different proposals are based on multiple user scenarios and a set of morphologies, potentially implemented and tested according to specific urban fabrics.

The spatial setups proposed are inspired by other systems, drawn from nature or existing urban configurations. Following these references, each proposal is explored as a case study, potentially developed and transformed through topological thinking and research-by-design experimentation. This method leads to a definition of spaces allowing for flexible appropriation and implementation of adapted services and atmospheres. Each proposal generates new accessibility scenarios for everyday users and creates a canvas for more in-depth spatial investigations to be pursued in Metrolab phase 2: Transitional spaces and devices in mobility networks.

In parallel to the design proposals for Metrolab phase 1, ALICE created a specific communication structure defining the framework of all actions being taken during each step of the research process. A simple set of tools generates a common language – this methodology defined by ALICE allows for the elaboration of comprehensive and specific innovations that can be clearly understood and shared by all actors involved in this transdisciplinary design research project.

team: Dieter Dietz, Sony Devabhaktuni, Adrian Meredith, Alessia Catelani, Alexander Hertel, Christopher Tan, Michael Hartwell, Philipp Pascal Bosshart, Tess Walraven, Tobias Lukas Cebulla, Valeria Zamora, ALICE EPFL

Phase 2

METROLAB phase 2 focuses on transitional spaces and devices in contemporary mobility networks. It is developed in continuity with Metrolab phase I, a design research project completed by ALICE in 2013.

As a transdisciplinary proposal elaborated in close collaboration with a team of mobility professionals, Metrolab phase 2 consists of a set of recommendations for spatial organization of infrastructural spaces. Defining a strategy for optimal readability and fluidity in mobility networks, the set of rules developed can be implemented in any type of infrastructural space, regardless of its morphology and size.

Following carefully defined perception principles, the proposal places the individual user at its core. The strategy proposed defines new boundaries for spatial organization, structures the repartition — and increases the visibility of — information. It allows for easy and intuitive orientation and provides adequate services and atmospheres all along the passenger’s journey.

Triggering basic relationships between the human body and its context, the proposed strategy can be implemented in infrastructural spaces as well as on mobility devices. To verify the strategy’s efficiency in different conditions, each configuration is tested in a series of user narratives. The scenarios highlight relations between moments and places within each passenger’s journey and explores possibilities of multiple user combinations. This method allows for a thorough investigation of the complex spaces to be implemented in order to extract their full potential and extend the scope of ALICE strategy’s applications.

team: Dieter Dietz, Rudi Nieveen, Manon Fantini, Sony Devabhaktuni, ALICE EPFL

2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Master, Fall
Architecture, Urban study
CC BY Licence