top of page


as case study.


Group Project 

design solutions

Henry Spuria
Vaishnavi Mehta


People don't trust public infrastructures, it's reliant on punitive and complicated cues.

Public spaces don't foster trust or enable engagement , rather prioritize efficiency.

There's no real connection between what people input and what is output.


Why crosswalks?

-multiple stakeholders

drivers vs drivers
pedestrian vs pedestrian
drivers vs pedestrian
pedestrian vs public infrastructure
driver vs public infrastructure


-transactional exchange

-liminal, unused space

Crosswalk is a microcosm of larger questions around trust and engagement in civic setting.

Early experimentations

Initial explorations and observing the unsaid rules of roads 

Introducing meaningful inefficiencies for the waiting time on crosswalk into opportunities for people to interact with each other.
Inviting people to play rock-paper-scissor at crossroads.

Jaywalking and observing how cars interact with us. 

The majority of people don't use 
the crosswalk system 'correctly'.


Using different type of cones and freestanding cardboards to intervene traffic.

Metrics of engagement

Engagement with street
Crossing and surveillance 

Engagement with audible
Interactions and sense of depth

Direct engagement with
touchpoints and buttons


Gathering qualitative data through tangible interactions about crosswalk with camera surveillance, hacking push bottons and sonic detection across the city.

Learnings from unstructured and ambiguous data collection

People in urban areas are hungry for engagement.

Interventions need to be specific and adaptable to types of crosswalks .

button locations

camera locations

sonic locations

Mapping engagement across the Providence city. 


1.    Conforms to selected city intersections
2.    Creating interventions that work independently             as well as a collective system.
3.    Meets specific needs that the current                             infrastructure doesn't provide.


all objects render.jpg

Engagement system

Final Outcomes

Detectable warning surface

Stop for pedestrian sign

Push Button

Creating with the right balance of interactivity, cause, and effect, specific product categories can have an outsized impact on safety, trust, and the broader wellbeing of public city-goers and pedestrians.


Trying to Fix - The Lack of Sensory stimulation with present buttons
Features - Timed Press memory, color cues, formal directional cues, sounds when triggered
Practicality - Mounts on to pre-existing systems, ADA compliant

Increasing legibility and engagement to redistribute the power in the relationship between
pedestrians and drivers.

Push Button

Using visual cues to inform pedestrians to either wait or to go through push buttons, instead of making pedestrians to look at the traffic lights. 

To give clarity and control to pedestrians in which direction to cross when there are multiple crosswalks at intersections



Making a more sustainable and eye-catching system of display and signaling for places which otherwise are poorly indicated.

Trying to Fix - The poor messaging on 
current crossing signs, the durability and crash resistance, attention and engagement
Features - LED Illuminated, flat-packed 
design, non-obstructive view
Practicality - durable enough to take 
persistent hits, stowable and easily 

To create products for the roads that are meant to be crash friendly to avoid it being safety issue and maintenance nuisance for traffic engineers.


Crossing Pad

Involving pedestrians in a hands-free mode of input; display color and sound cues directly 
and intuitively.

Trying to Fix - complex cues and systems 
that present stop or go to pedestrians
Features - Illuminated ground, visible when using phone, simple cues for engagement
Practicality - seats onto textured crossing 
pads, illuminates pedestrians, easier to 
maintain and install

The crossing pad redefines an overlooked, neglected feature of city streets - detectable warning strips and turns it into a subliminal, interactive, and intelligent signaling system. 

Iconography, color, and Signage

Spectrum of proposed Engagement system for building trust







Designing for Trust in Public spaces book

Click on the images for the project book

URB Book Mockup #2.png
bottom of page