Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Design Challenge!

non-interactive road sign
 Nhv.Org has paired SeeClickFix and MakeHaven on a challenge to improve these pedestrian crossing signs to make them more interactive.

SeeClickFix is a website dedicated to civic improvement, and MakeHaven is a workspace for inventors and thinkers.  It seems only natural to pair these two together for their first combined challenge.

The project is simple:  come up with a design that improves the ability for pedestrians to cross the street safely.  The result?  A  better world!

Why Should Pedestrians Have Priority?

The reason why pedestrians have priority in situations involving crossing the street, even a very busy street such as Willow, is because walking is better for the environment.  Therefore driving should be seen as a disadvantage in strategic crossing situations.  The law is clearly on the side of peds, as indicated by these highly florescent road signs placed auspiciously in the middle of the street.

Challenges To The Designers
Even without electronics, these signs have difficulty withstanding the elements.  The goal is to create a design that is simple, effective, and affordable to manufacture.

Another challenge is potential of theft.  The device has to either be very difficult to steal, or look very unappealing.  One childish rendition of the design is available:

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Relation Between SeeClickFix and MakeHaven Aside from the obvious connection between the forces driving both organizations, both seek the goal of improvement of quality of life; one with civic responsibility and the other with ingenuity and design.  Once Makehaven has developed a prototype for the radio sensor, it will be scrutinized by the New Haven SeeClickFix community (as with all things here) and the design will be perfected through the process of testing in real-world situation. The Goal (reward) and Follow-Up If the design is a success and an invention is completed and tested, then Nhv.Org will release an awesome video, for free, about the design and development of this project. Sorry we can't offer you something better!  Maybe in addition "SpacePirate" will throw in a free CD or a USB Zip drive with every nintendo game ever made.
  • There is no deadline on this project