Design Project Catastrophe Presentation – Youchun Zhang


Chelsea Piers Overview

Chelsea Piers is a series of piers in Chelsea located to the east of Hudson River. The piers is currently used for sports and entertainment.


Design Question

I would like to design a system that warns of danger and facilitates the evacuation.



Paul works at the PIER 60 parking. His job responsibilities are to overlook the garage and help with the valet parking. His work starts at 8 am, and ends at 6 pm. Today he is a little bit late because of the traffic. 

The weather becomes really worse at around 10. He is shocked finding the waves in the Hudson river. He calls his manager immediately, and surprisingly they are informed that they should evacuated to the nearest evacuation center. He then walks to the nearest exit, and while he is walking, he talks to the people nearby to evacuate with him together. He arrives at the evacuation center at 15th street about 1 hour later.



There are four components designed in this evacuation system – a cloud server that hosts all the information and talks to the other components; a real-time data collecting device that reports the water level;  an consumer app that alerts the users and notifies about the most applicable way to evacuate; and a dashboard that monitors and visualizes the system status and evacuation report.



Click image to understand observations:



  • Narrow streets. Single car Moving. Double-lane parked cars.
  • Footpaths have traffic! Dangerous/Distracting.
  • Circumstances.
  • Crossroads are important.
  • Two Safe Spaces.
  • Save Life. But, Save Property?
  • Drills, Communication, Market Protocol.



HCD project outline:
a. a mind map

b. some design questions

  • is the boarding pass actually perfect today?
  • are we taking it for granted?
  • if a door can be debated as a Norman door, is a global boarding pass design perfect?
  • can daily travel signages be harmful?
  • Remember the Miss Universe blunder and the Oscar Best Film announcement goof-up of 2017?
  • Can we reed it write?

c. challenges

  • Different people, age groups, disabilities
  • Human Circumstances
  • Standardization
  • Fancy branding vs Aesthetics vs Minimalism
  • Feedback was hazy
  • Larger sample space
  • Targeting audiences
  • Need more circumstances

d. a design statement 

“How can I make the Boarding Pass truly global and absorbed by all kinds of travelers very easily, for most circumstances”.

Design HCD Project Presentation – Youchun Zhang


Bike trip is hard to plan due to multiple changing factors – weather, traffic, finding a bike nearby.


Design Question

I wish that there would be one single entry point so that getting the information to plan a bike trip wouldn’t be so hard.



Alex is a Youtuber. He makes videos and likes biking around. Every morning, he would ride to a cafe and get an Americano. Today he is planning to make a video about street performers. There are two places he would like to go. One is in a park. The other one is along the river bank. He plans to go to both places by bike.



Smart Biking is an everyday biking supporting service. It provides a daily briefing of the biking conditions in the city where the subscriber lives in. It can also be served as a chatbot and an application inside the message apps. The information it would cover includes weather forecast, real-time traffic update, navigation (specifically for biking routes), and helping the user find a shared bike or a guided bike tour. It analyzes data from almost everywhere and construct information based on that.


Icons – credit to

Andreas Wikström from the Noun Project
luis pachon from the Noun Project
Adrien Coquet from the Noun Project
Hans from the Noun Project