The Council owned city centre creative hub, The Storey, is the ‘live’ wayfinding test bed for the new model and will become a new ‘Generative Spacing Lab’ to which retailers from the service industry will be invited to explore, consult and give feedback to both the research and design teams. This ‘pilot’ study will provide data gathering for analysis and review of the success of social distancing measures. A user survey and heat mapping tracking will provide qualitative data on experience and operational success.
This ‘hands-on’ research aims to provide a unique methodology using special visual programming packages and computer-aided design to automate a risk analysis of existing floor plans to identify areas of social distance non-compliance.
Project Lead and Head of Architecture at Lancaster University Des Fagan said:
“Currently no quantitative or qualitative research has been completed on how automated processes may impact the design of existing or proposed public spaces in the context of social distancing measures. We decided to come up with a unique and adaptable automated solution, currently being tried and tested, which will enable the input of floor plans to quickly generate signage that reacts to changes in government advice regarding social distancing. We will evaluate customer responses which will help us understand how people respond to certain types of signage over time. This is significant because social distancing, in one form or another, will be with us for many months to come. The project has moved really fast and we hope to have our outcomes by early July.”