Link

Facilitating community engagement & combating mail theft.

#communitydesign#housewares #urbanfurniture #wellbeing

Problem: People don't feel a sense of community within their neighborhoods, part of which is related to theft. 

We are seeing a shift in the way we approach mail due to online retailers. We are moving away from paper mail, as items such as billing statements and magazine subscriptions become more accessible online. Additionally, parcels shipped through online retailers cannot be stored and secured in postal service mail boxes due to their size.

Therefore, if left on a door step, there is a possibility of these packages being stolen

How might we foster a sense of community in our neighborhoods while also providing a secure way of storing 
package mail? 

Basic Numbers :

Percent changes within the USPS mail structure in 2017-2018:

USPS annual online revenue:

“So where do you meet new people 
in your community?”

Interviews:

By talking to industry professionals I was able to become more familiar with issues surrounding mail security. I started to identify necessities that Link would have to have, such as modularity and adaptability, as Links need to change as their environment does. Link became a similar storage system to public lockers and products like Amazon Locker, with the difference in that the owner or community of owners decide how it impacts the way they impact their community, very different than current mailbox designs. 

Branding:

Ideation:

Link is designed modularly, so that it can fit any user’s specific needs. A cluster of Links can be installed in an urban space to hold package mail and serve as public seating at the same time. Links can also be used in a suburban residential community; acting as a homeowner’s package storage when closed, and a bench when open.

As this product is modular in its structure and set up, it is also flexible as a single-use or multi-use product. Two Links can be installed and used on an individual level, or housing associations can set them up for community residents. If used in an urban environment, city developers can use Links as ways to connect neighborhoods

Final Design:

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A green illumination notifies users that the link is vacant and can be used.  

A red illumination denotes usage. All that is needed to unlock a link is a four digit key code. 

Link can be used as a manual short-term 
storage solution
, meaning you do not need to download an app to use it. 

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