Social Stairs

Designing data probes for research-through-design to make people using stairs more social. Stair steps are mapped to musical notes, and when two people work together their steps turn into orchestral chimes.

During a two week module my team and I worked on making an alternative to the existing piano stair concept. This one works the same, steps ascend gradually into higher piano notes, except now when two people work together their steps will turn into orchestral chimes that echo up the stairwell. The idea here is that people have fun together and see the stairs as a social place, as well as a fun place.

Team: Nadine van Amersvoort, Maxim Sakovich, Rhys Duindam



Secretly, the idea behind this staircase was to gather behavioural data. It is a research-through-design project based on data gathered through a ‘probe’, which in this case is the staircase. People see it as a simulator for social and healthier behavior (taking the stairs instead of the lift and socializing because of it), but we are also observing to test if these stairs actually make the change envision.

Project continued as part of a PhD research program into Experiential Design Landscapes at TU/e.