Still Frame

A week-long collaboration with students from Politecnico di Milano. Our team included: two Italian interior designers, one French interior designer, and two American visual communication designers.

The Problem

Our task was to work together to research, brainstorm, and then conceptualize an ideal writing space for a bookshop or library. In this space, the user should be able to write longer form pieces such as a report or poem, but also shorter pieces such as an email. With the majority of the team having never met one another, this project was a crash course in navigating interdisciplinary teams, language barriers, and task management.

The Solution

Still Frame is a furniture design concept for the ideal writing space in a library or bookshop. In this multimedia project, we created a video trailer for our design concept, along with a printed tabloid proposal and digital rendering of the designed space.

The Process

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Observational Research

Our first task was to simply go out in public and view how people write in different spaces – some people in a park, some in libraries, others on the steps of a building, etc. What tools do they use? How is their body positioned? How does that correlate with what they're writing? During this process,​ we discovered insights such as: the correlation between comfort and type of writing, the need for personal space, the need for inspiration, and importance of access to resources (power, storage, information, etc.)

Case Studies + Design Research

Next, we worked on finding other furniture and interior design that could inspire our work. We focused on a space that could allow flexibility but also allow someone to sit and work for a longer period of time if needed. At this point, we started using the phrase "frame of mind", reminding ourselves how the space should put the person in the right mindset to write.

Brainstorming + Storyboard

We began brainstorming with the research we had conducted so far. With flexibility in mind, we began experimenting with the idea of a suggested, but not closed off, space. From this, we came up with the idea of "Still Frame", where a writing space is literally framed with black lines, suggesting a personal space while also not being isolated. During this brainstorming process, we created the below storyboard to show our two concept from the user's perspective: 

My Role

Concept Board

Once we had brainstormed and narrowed our concept,​ the team needed direction as we embarked on designing the separate pieces of the system (concept video, tabloid, interior design renderings, etc.). In order to do so, we needed a concept board that everyone agreed on and felt inspired by. I created a concept board using furniture samples pulled from our research, along with brand guidelines for the team to follow.

Brand Guidelines

In the image on the right, I outlined colors, fonts, and other brand elements that the team was to use in anything they created for the project. I also distributed the appropriate files needed (images, fonts, etc.) This gave a reference point for the whole team and allowed us to create a very cohesive brand while creating the design quickly.

Tabloid Print Design

In the below proposal, there is a tabloid that references our process and explains our final design solution. I was in charge of creating this entire document. I outlined the content of the pages through collaborating with my teammates, and left space for each person to contribute to the written content. I then reviewed the final document to make sure that the message was clear and consistent throughout.

The Proposal