Brief: Seattle Design Festival’s Displaced: Design for Inclusive Cities competition. Provide urban design solutions that promote belonging, dignity and resilience for immigrants and refugees navigating the challenges of urban life in their local community.
Transportation is vital in providing people access to employment, higher-education opportunities, and promoting social-inclusion. Tether concentrates on how to alleviate the challenges faced by immigrants and refugees using Sound Transit’s bus network. This is accomplished through the infusion environmental graphics and installation of networked hardware devices across the existing bus system. Think of this two-prong approach as “training wheels” for an already well-constructed system, meant to be a teaching device that bridges the cultural/communication divide.
At the heart of Tether is the ORCA card. Reimagined as a mapping tool, these cards will now remember specific bus stops (or anchor points) used during the a person’s commute. Existing stops are retrofitted with anchor devices which use NFC technology to tether ORCA cards to that specific stop. Once tethered, the anchor devices dispense a unique (to that stop) identifier sticker to be placed on the ORCA card. In conjunction to anchor devices, each stop is also equipped with signage which corresponds to same identifier stickers.