Public Space > Groundarium > Red Dot: Best of the Best


Waseda University, Japan

Faculty Advisor: Prof. Choh Ikuro

Design: Oishi Moroe


Groundarium is a sign system in subway facilities. It uses a hemispherical structure to provide passengers with real-time overground information (distance, direction, location, landmark, weather, time, et cetera).

It is difficult to grasp a positional relationship between underground space and overground space. In addition, an underground space does not have the sun nor familiar buildings and landmarks for directional cue. Groundarium is able to help passengers grasp the necessary positional relationship and information in a simple and intuitive way by linking information to the underground. 

Just like being in the real world, the closer a passenger gets to the building, the bigger it looks on the Groundarium. It enables intuitive and correct information acquisition by expressing a sense of distance. An axis is drawn from the geometrical centre to the exact position of the information source. The point of destination is identified where the axis intersects with the hemispherical structure. With this design approach, passengers are able to correctly receive the positional relationship.

In addition, real-time daylight and weather information may affect human activities greatly but it is not easy to get the information from underground. Groundarium provides all the information on a display in real time. For instance, in the event of rain, Groundarium will advise the passengers on decisions such as changing their walking route via the underpass, or buying an umbrella before going to the ground level. 

Once the user has selected a destination, from where the user is standing, the information that is no longer necessary cannot be seen. With this feature, Groundarium facilitates the organisation of complex positional information. When a user is looking for a place, just stand right under the Groundarium and look over. One will be able to get immediate directional information.


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