Yiwen Dai

Document Type

Thesis, Senior




Spring 2020


new york city, infrastructure, map, subway, interactions, intersections, subway platform






Every space serves a purpose; therefore, all space should be valued and cherished, including what is typically perceived as the foul, dark, unstable, abandoned corners and dead ends. As designers we should take these places and make the most of them so they too can be enchanting. New York city like many other metropolitan areas are faced with shortage of available space. For example, underground development became unavoidable in order to build a reliable subway system that trans-ports and connects its daily commuters to the spatially growing city. Along with the new infrastructure, waiting areas and platforms that form strips were created. However, they are not just components supporting transportation needs, but also magical spaces where we can change commuters’ lives. A space where if given the right attention can provide escapes (to break away from the hustle of the city) as well as bridge social gaps.

In a fast-speed society like NYC, commuters can easily get lost in their daily routines. People come and share the same platform, but they don’t understand each other’s life. Commuters live in one world, and then there’s a whole different underground world that people “above NYC” don’t realize. Their paths do not cross, and secret spaces are kept hidden. The underground sub-way platform is one of the spaces (habitat) that is part of the commuter’s everyday life. People use the subway platforms as an intersection (node) to meet with friends, whilst easily ignoring others sharing the same space. If there’s one portal or door between these two universes, it would be this platform. Where these designed strips of spaces can act as a portal where the different uni-verses collide, and people from totally different worlds can engage, interact and influence each other.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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