'dropkick' is a handsfree pedestrian crossing button for a post pandemic world
 

'dropkick' is a handsfree pedestrian crossing button for a post pandemic world

when the team at foreward noticed the number of people using their feet to press the button at pedestrian crossings, they decided to develop a handsfree solution. after some research they found that the surfaces of these buttons are breeding grounds for bacteria, and with the current health pandemic sweeping the globe, this issue of public hygiene has never been so important. ‘dropkick’ therefore rethinks this trivial yet integral part of urban infrastructure with a device that can be pressed by the users’ foot. 

'dropkick' is a handsfree pedestrian crossing button for a post pandemic world designboom

images by matt lobb and nathan davis

 

 

in addition to the matter of hygiene, foreward also investigated the placebo effect of pedestrian crossings buttons. with many cities now using sensor technology, pressing the button at the side of the road won’t always make any difference in the light changing to red. considering this fact, the design team realized the importance of a tactile button to satisfy the human need of feeling like you’ve actively done something to reduce waiting times, much like the ‘close’ button on an elevator. therefore, together with ODO and greenpoint media, foreward has created a handsfree pedestrian button that can be kicked, in hope to reduce the transmission of germs while allowing these buttons to continue their placebo functions.

'dropkick' is a handsfree pedestrian crossing button for a post pandemic world designboom

 

 

the button pays homage to the PB/5 button, originally designed by australian industrial designer, david wood from nielsen design associates. shaped as a pill to allow for an omni-directional approach, the button hovers over its host traffic pole to present a singular, minimal design. the button is back lit to create a halo that doubles up as a light indicator, catering to a new generation of pedestrians who wait at intersections with phone in hand and head tilted towards the ground. at night the halo also serves as a visual safety indicator to motorists as the pedestrian islands light up in the colors of the halo.

'dropkick' is a handsfree pedestrian crossing button for a post pandemic world designboom

 

 

the main shell of the button is machined out of a single piece of aluminum to ensure strength and durability. in select locations, pores are drilled into the shell to leave behind micrometers thick of aluminum to allow light to pass through. the careful placement of these pores then creates a signage panel that is integrated into the main shell. with built-in speakers, the button can house a myriad of audio sounds, giving the opportunity to introduce biophilic noise that reinforces nature. NFC technology can also be integrated to synchronize with personal devices such that pedestrians using their phones may be alerted with an instantaneous screen alert when it is time to cross the road.

'dropkick' is a handsfree pedestrian crossing button for a post pandemic world designboom

 

 

the dropkick button can be retrofitted with current traffic light poles to keep any upgrades minimally invasive and cost efficient. as a result, this negates any intrusive works required to footpaths and extensive road closures or traffic management. city and road authorities can elect to have the drop kick buttons replace the PB/5 buttons or potentially supplement them as they co-exist.

'dropkick' is a handsfree pedestrian crossing button for a post pandemic world designboom

'dropkick' is a handsfree pedestrian crossing button for a post pandemic world designboom

'dropkick' is a handsfree pedestrian crossing button for a post pandemic world designboom

'dropkick' is a handsfree pedestrian crossing button for a post pandemic world designboom

'dropkick' is a handsfree pedestrian crossing button for a post pandemic world designboom

'dropkick' is a handsfree pedestrian crossing button for a post pandemic world designboom

'dropkick' is a handsfree pedestrian crossing button for a post pandemic world designboom

 

 

project info:

 

project name: dropkick

design: foreward

design thinktank: ODO and greenpoint media

project team: jon liow, nicola trotman, ash denman, samson tiew, matt lobb, nathan davis

images by: matt lobb and nathan davis

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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