We are often able to participate in projects where we are both the designer and the builder through the Community Design Collaborative’s Design/Build program. The idea for the study pod was developed in collaboration with students in a Philadelphia after-school program that focuses on community-enhancing projects. Our Collaborative team met with the students at a local recreation center in Philadelphia to teach them some design basics with the goal of implementing their ideas into an actual installation to be used at the recreation center.
The main attributes that the students wanted in their installation were to have a place to relax and read or study. Being able to have some privacy was another requirement, but they also wanted to be able to have it accessible to small groups.
We designed a pod that features two seats in a booth style arrangement. A fold-down table gives them a surface to study on, and it can be folded out of the way to provide more space. Horizontal slats make up the back wall to allow for some privacy while letting light into the pod. The slats also double as a perfect surface for hanging planters or shelves by using over the door hooks. Both of the side walls were covered in chalkboard paint to activate the perimeter of the pod. It was placed on casters and was divided into two pieces to allow it to fit out of the door and brought into the playground outside of the recreation center during the warm months. It was a rewarding experience to teach and create a unique installation with the students, and we are sure that it will provide a relaxing space for years to come.