Renee Christianson, Odel Linetska, Emily Zheng
Urban Chair: Audial

With the difficulties of the current Covid-19 pandemic, communicating with others has shifted towards
a virtual setting. The shift towards virtual communication has made it harder to engage and establish meaningful connections with others. The pressure to actively pay attention and keep an appearance on virtual meetings for an extended amount of time has increased anxiety for many people.

Audial offers voice-only communication between individuals at varying distances within the city, whether they are at the park or on a busy street. Audial emphasizes the importance of listening to someone’s voice. Focusing directly on someone’s voice greatly improves the listener’s understanding of the speaker’s emotions and perspective.

The concept is displayed as an ergonomic cocoon-like chair equipped with a panel which displays current active chairs waiting to be connected. The buttons are activated by weight sensors installed at the seat. Once the connection is made, Audial acts like a phone booth between the two people.

Audial is designed with eco-friendly materials! The exterior shell is made of 3D printed recycled plastic. The interior is padded with foam, which also absorbs sound, allowing Audial to be an effective modern tool for communication.

Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.