Winter Semester 2019/2020, BA/MA Product Design Produkt_Startseite
Pedestrians are typically the most vulnerable party in traffic accidents, with the highest counts of injury and fatality. Especially if one isn’t familiar with the urban environment, passers-by are more likely to fall victim to the disparity between them feeling safe while carelessly crossing smaller streets and the likelihood of being hit by an approaching vehicle. Local inhabitants on the other hand are mostly aware which streets to cross carefully.
LOOK LEFT converts this local knowledge into a valuable solution that educates the next generation of smart city inhabitants and prevents accidents. Teenagers take part in a project week, where they learn to build smart devices to help improve local traffic safety. These young adults are to become the new safety ambassadors for their neighborhood – urging their community to “look left”, while the devices they built capture and share valuable data.
Over 5 days, the young city-dwellers get to grips with traffic dangers in their neighbourhood. The project group gets a DIY electronics kit, with which they build and program a modified traffic cam based on the OpenDataCam Project by Moovel Lab and a warning device that has an LED panel and an Arduino at its core. These are then installed in local streets to monitor these issues and warn fellow pedestrians. The workshop group takes responsibility for monitoring and uninstalling the devices, which are designed for disassembly, so they get sent back for re-use. Any issues with the project can be highlighted on the ‘Look Left’ website, and this feedback helps to improve future iterations.
LOOK LEFT should not only make the streets of Berlin a little safer, but it’s DIY format also offers the next generation of smart city inhabitants an opportunity to learn how to code and build their own smart technologies, how to engage with their environment, take responsibility for it, and consider how to shape its future design