resting booth


UX Designer/Researcher


Design for public space
Participatory design


Physical prototyping


resting booth is a tangible interaction design for people in public park.

From separate the table and bench space literately, I want individual realize he/she is alone and to see if they willing to interact with the design and people seat in front and beside them simply by opening the window.

It is an easier way to start an interaction than start a small talk. Open the barrier by bringing the barrier in front; bring people together by isolating people.

The site

The specific site is the picnic table in Central Park Pasadena. After developing my design idea, the site can be any share table in a relatively open public space.

The interaction

When one people/small groups seat in on the table, no one else will interact with this table anymore. It is a physical separation but I think it is more psychological.
I’m interested in how people will interact with table in the public space.

↑People press the pressure sensor

LEDs lights up on the other side when people press the sensor

The design 


There are four different parts to separate the table. All parts can be easily removed from the center. I use velcro to connect different parts to the center. In each part, there are windows on both sides.

My intention is to let people on both sides to choose if they want to open the window and interact with people on another side. As the result, it’s a two-way interaction.

Behind the window, I placed a mirror. I want the participant to see him/herself in the mirror if the people in another didn’t open the window or there is nobody sits in front of and besides he/she.

In each part, I designed three signs to guide people. The first one is “OPEN YOUR SPACE” which placed beside the boundary of the center and each part (participants can remove each part to enlarge the space).

Second and third are “SOMEONE SITS BESIDE” and “SOMEONE SITS IN FRONT”. For signs “SOMEONE SITS BESIDE” and “SOMEONE SITS IN FRONT”, I placed LEDs on top of each sign.

Also, I placed touch sensor in each booth (4 booth total). By press the touch sensor (one in each booth), the corresponding lights will light up.

For example, someone presses the sensor in his/her booth, the one light will light up in the booth in front of the participant and also one light in the booth beside the participant. The people sit beside or in front of the participants will know someone sits there. And it will lead to the further interaction, which is open the window or remove the cardboard.

If I have more time, I will deploy in more places and let more people test it. More importantly, I could add more technology, such as LED screen behind the window. When the person sits alone and open the window, he/she will see the LED screen that includes text or image.

©Xiaoxuan Liu 2020. All rights reserved.