THE KIOSK DESIGN INITIATIVE
The Kiosk Strategy is a form of urban acupuncture for revitalizing communities
Through innovative public placemaking, kiosks trigger positive impacts for vitality and community health. These small-scale structures can activate gathering spaces, provide social service amenities, and increase community resiliency.
Illustration by Patrick Hilton, (c) Copyright by Forage Design
The Kiosk Project is an initiative of Forage Design + Planning and PDX Main Streets to activate public spaces and provide community services. Cities are using the "Kiosk Strategy" to activate public parks and plazas, combat crime, and revitalize neighborhoods.
Our vision is to support environmental sustainability and social uplift by creating a citywide network of community resiliency hubs, one kiosk at a time.
Design Features | Style, color, materials and functions can vary, and can include amenities and services such as:
Phone charging and WIFI access for increased digital inclusion
Incubator spaces for small businesses (e.g. cafe's, newsstands, visitor welcome booths, etc)
Hygiene services such as integrated showers and bathrooms (like the cafe with integrated restroom above)
Wayfinding and gateways
Education and info displays (e.g. cultural history, maps to art, trails, and key destinations, and/o emergency preparedness information)
Solar and emergency batteries for clean energy, disaster response, and climate-responsive urban design.
Kiosks in a variety of functions and sizes have been used for centuries as newsstands, information booths, cafe stands, wayfinding posts and more. We have drawn inspiration from kiosks locally and internationally including Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Lisbon, Paris, New York, Scandinavia and Italy. Several examples can be see in our precedents for our proposed kiosk project.
Kiosks are making a resurgence as an innovative placemaking, community service and wayfinding element. More and more cities are recognizing their value. Our take is unique as well as our applications for a variety of audiences.
Lisbon has revived their traditional art nouveau small horchata/coffee kiosks and added more than 50 octagonal new cafes with integrated bathrooms as permanent food stands in their parks providing space for small businesses to create successful startups and as had huge success in activating previously underused and unsafe parks into dynamic and vibrant well-loved and well used spaces. Paris is rolling out a series of 300+ new newsstand kiosks designed to match the old, yet with more function upgrades. San Francisco installed over 100 urban kiosks.
Major US cities are more vulnerable to disasters than ever. Major disasters can cripple electricity grids, plunging millions into darkness — sometimes for weeks. Without power, comfort, communication and public safety are limited.
The opportunities of kiosk structures both small and large for creating resilient urban placemaking and support structures is a significant urban design and disaster response strategy. When solar power is added we can apply design approaches like these with a preparedness model that could provide hygiene, cooking and off-grid emergency power in a disaster. PDX Main Streets is working with Forage Design + Planning as designers, and with SHINE to help develop the solar and battery backup system technology.
By partnering with SHINE to develop the technical specifications to add solar and new small scale power storage, we can leverage these innovative designs for not only making great spaces but serving more community needs for social services, greater connectivity, and we have a model in development that can be applied for disaster preparedness. Learn more about Shine in the video here or on their Juicebox website.
Basic hygiene, food, electricity and internet and access to phone charging can support individuals and families experiencing homelessness to enhance their self-care and services. Most homeless people have cell phones, but cannot charge them. Lighting improves safety and comfort. Urban street kiosks can provide a localized source of energy, wireless internet access, and restrooms that enables vulnerable residents to access hygiene amenities and retain dignity, health, well-being, and accelerate recovery.
Little Sunshine Kiosk de Resilience
Our pilot kiosk is in progress at the WeShine Village where residents that were previously homeless are finally able to be sheltered with dignity in a supportive community. Little Sunshine is a reclaimed kiosk that we have been restoring and adding solar, batteries, information displays, new siding and phone charging for residents of the village. The solar equipment was made possible through a grant to WeShine from the Portland Clean Energy fund and through community support from Forage Design + Planning, PDX Main Streets, City Love Cottage Company, and technical assistance from RV Solar.
See a video of Little Sunshine's journey.
Support the Kiosk Project
Click the Donate button below or email us to find out how to support the project.
If you are interested in a presentation to learn more about this work, please contact
Heather Flint Chatto at firstname.lastname@example.org.