Slide 1
A glass floor that allows a visual connection to the lower levels upon immediately entering the platform
Slide 2
A stairwell divided into three lanes with a ramp to run and catch a train or double height treads for sitting while waiting
Slide 3
A reading light that turns on when a seat is pulled down or when someone stands below it
Slide 4
A place designed for the leaning body with built-in speakers to allow for one's own music to be plugged in and played through the speakers
Slide 5
Several columns on the concourse level have cuts around them to allow for headlights from trains above and below to shine through and indicate the end of the wait time
Slide 6
A handle fixed to a stainless steel column allows a person to lean over and check for an approaching train. The lifting of this handle triggers a light on the tile wall opposite to turn on
Slide 7
A kiosk selling food, drinks, and books spans the three levels of the station

TIME PASSING | PASSING TIME: Waiting on the Subway Platform

Waiting is a phenomenological condition that is intrinsic to human experience. However, waiting typically feels like empty time, something to be avoided. As we wait, duration rather than the seamless flow of time comes to the forefront of our consciousness. For the urban dweller, the subway platform is a paradigmatic case to exemplify this elevated awareness of stalled time. Using the West 4th Street Subway Station as a focal point, this thesis attempts to mediate the experience of waiting through a re-imagining of the spatial characteristics of the platform, the objects that constitute this environment, and the way in which these conditions inform our behavior as we wait for the train. The aim is to shed light on the ability of the interior designer to change the quality of space and time. By making a more provocative place to wait, not only will people find their experience of waiting more enjoyable, but the length of the wait will also seem shorter. Using the existing vocabulary of the subway platform, and the addition of new material, light and objects, the platform becomes not just a space, but a series of places. Placemaking creates a dynamic experience for the user, breaking up the monotony, banality and rigidity of the platform. This changes no only how we wait, but also how much time feels as though has passed while we are waiting.

Thesis Advisor: Peter Wheelwright