Craig Wilkins-Door Stops Seating For Transit Riders

At Design Interviews

Interview with craig wilkins : Frank Scott: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?. craig wilkins : Door Stops is a collaboration between designers, artists, riders and community residents to fill neglected public spaces, like transit stops and vacant lots, with seating opportunities to make the city a more pleasant place to be. Designed to provide a safer and aesthetically pleasing alternative to that which currently exists, the units are infused with large displays of public art commissioned from local artists, making for an easily identifiable, safe and pleasant waiting area for riders. .Frank Scott: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?. craig wilkins : Bus stops advertise the transit system to the public. A stop that looks dirty or neglected, or whose waiting passengers look hot, cold, wet, confused or vulnerable sends a devastating message: you’re lucky you don’t have to ride the bus. The use of public transportation is typically read as being without means; that the people, place and service of public transportation are at best, secondary considerations in the economic and environmental operations of the city. We wanted to change that. .Frank Scott: What are your future plans for this award winning design?. craig wilkins : This project aims to bring the citizen back into a position of prominence in the decision- and place-making process with respect to the city’s collective spatial conditions by giving s/he the tools to make desires visible. A very small tool, yes, but one that addresses a number of immediate and long-term, tangible and intangible concerns. It begins small but has the ability to aggregate into a larger, cumulative impact. .Frank Scott: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?. craig wilkins : A couple weeks, actually. .Frank Scott: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?. craig wilkins : As functional architecture, these structures must offer tangible benefits to riders of weather protection, boarding identification and rest area. As pieces of art, they must offer constantly changing public art and opportunities for local artists to ply their trade and talents. Together, they have to provide an opportunity for riders and residents to create a space of their own making; a choice that will ultimately comment on the state of transportation and the quality of the public realm. .Frank Scott: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?. craig wilkins : Our partner artists create the murals, my partner and I do the fabrication and installation. .Frank Scott: What made you design this particular type of work?. craig wilkins : the primary objective of the Center is to work in distressed areas of the city and with organizations and individuals who live and work in these communities. this project allowed us to continue fulfilling our mission. .Frank Scott: Who is the target customer for his design?. craig wilkins : The residents of the City of Detroit, especially those who use the public transit system. .Frank Scott: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?. craig wilkins : The fact that it is almost entirely of salvaged and repurposed materials found in the very spaces where we plan to install the finished products .Frank Scott: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?. craig wilkins : Door Stops is a play on the term Bus Stops, which is one of the primary locations for seating installation. .Frank Scott: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?. craig wilkins : SketchUP, AutoCAD and good old fashioned trace paper .Frank Scott: What is the most unique aspect of your design?. craig wilkins : The fact that it is almost entirely of salvaged and repurposed materials found in the very spaces where we plan to install the finished products .Frank Scott: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?. craig wilkins : besides my primary design partner Damon Dickerson, our artist collaborators were Erik Howard, Chazz Miller, Jessica Harris, Mollie Decker, Rosa Mariá Zamarrón, Michael Sklenka, Gordon Soderberg, Molly Landis, Dennis Thom, Paul Mungar, Ryon P. Gonzalez, William Wey, Nicole Lapointe, Jessica Rowland, Bree Hietala, Kevin Boyd, Vanessa Cronan, Bradley Bailey and Young Detroit / The Alley Project Collaborative .Frank Scott: What is the role of technology in this particular design?. craig wilkins : almost nill. we wanted to create a product that was easily replicable by any interested party in the city without the need to access specialized equipment. the entire project can be produced with commonly -held tools available at any hardware store .Frank Scott: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?. craig wilkins : observation, conversation, culling of numerous newspaper, journal and articles on the subject, as well as analyzing of numerous local, regional and nation transportation trends, studies, statistics, reports and projections .Frank Scott: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?. craig wilkins : funding, transportation and installation were the primary challenges. for various reasons ranging from metal scrapping to collection of artwork, our units were being removed almost as soon as they were installed .Frank Scott: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?. craig wilkins : it was one of the few we knew would consider a socially specific design process such as ours. .Frank Scott: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?. craig wilkins : we are looking to incorporate solar lighting, a GPS marker and a more effective wind break in out next phase, in addition, Phase II designs will be designed to be mobile; to move from location to location as determined by riders and residents. Should there arise a need for seating at different locations due to change in service or traffic patterns, the seats can be relocated accordingly with little effort. In this, each piece can more quickly respond to the needs as determined by its residents than the bureaucracy of the city can allow. .

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