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The “Station of Being” Experience

A deep understanding of users’ needs allows for great design and innovation. This prototype bus station improves the waiting experience for travellers.

I am always interested in design capable of improving people’s lives and potentially making a significant positive impact on the environment.

Architecture studio Rombout Frieling Lab and Research Institutes of Sweden have created the Station of Being as a prototype bus stop in the city of Umeå, in the north of the country. 

The bus stop intends to improve and enhance the waiting experience for people using public transport in cold weather conditions. The project can make public transport significantly more attractive.

Based on what Rombout Frieling told Deezen, and the case study on the studio’s website, the research they carried out revealed that:

  • It is annoying to continually be on the lookout to be sure not to miss the bus.
  • People prefer to lean on something, rather than sitting when waiting for the bus in windy and snowy conditions. It can be as cold as –30º C with seats covered in snow.
  • People prefer using cars because they feel the need to zone off and have privacy.

The Prototype

The Station of Being provides commuters with a smart and innovative waiting experience. It looks out for the buses arriving, using sounds and lights to signal their destinations. It features timber pods that people can lean on and rotate to shield from wind and snow. 

The pods allow for privacy if needed, and to relax after work. Or, as Rombout Frieling puts it, “travellers can have time to just being”.

A pleasant blend of traditional materials and innovative features, the prototype is the result of robust research into travellers’ needs.

During the first couple of weeks after the opening, the studio observed a 35% increase in usage.

Take a look at the video below, what do you think?


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By Silvia Maggi

A UX Designer with a passion for photography, she writes about design and tech. Member of the Interaction Design Foundation. When words are not easy to find, she publishes her pictures.

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