Fig: 1 – A person reading a book under a tree in solitude - An impression.
Reading is almost an involuntary action that any literate person performs, even if it may be as basic as reading the news on your mobile device to read books obsessively. Reading has transformed from analog form to digital to now, even podcasts, with audios that read to you.
While content can be consumed in, either way, the state of mind in which a reader is, is what determines the effectiveness of the activity. A preoccupied mind refuses to take in new information and similarly, outward distractions can hinder the effectiveness of reading where one can read the same line multiple times with nothing registering in their minds.
For avid readers, hindrances caused by internal or external reasons have the capability to upset their routine and alter their mental health as well. Sources suggest that it might be adaptive or pathological anxiety that pushes people to feel like, once they’ve lost the habits that used to comfort them, they cannot get back to it.
How can the stress from not being able to read in a cozy ambiance be alleviated?
Fig: 2 – A concept reading pod
Out of the many structures we build for work, most are designed to foster social interaction and team building, and so on, but when it comes to creating private spaces, there is a lack of forethought. Such spaces are necessary to help clear their mind or have a quiet introspective time, be it for reading, meditating, or even taking a nap.
The design of such spaces in work environments or institutions must be given priority. A general lack of such spaces discourages people from taking time out to relax, from their busy schedule. Providing a space for such people, that can be used when needed and compact enough to be transported or carried with, would be a lifesaver.
While there have been a few products in the market that are able to facilitate visual privacy as a temporary means of isolation, they are solutions that fail to cover the audio factor. The idea of taking required private time in our busy schedules each day will be able to gain traction with the availability of products that can help us take this time most conveniently.
Fig: 3 – Human Pods in Coppa Club, London
Human pods are a trend that came up as a move as a living space in highly dense cities. Turning this concept into a modular pod for people to have their private time needs a little tuning in design.
Design a pod that can be used to create a silent and isolated environment for individuals to spend time in it by reading, working, or sleeping.
The product must be easy to operate and occupy minimal space. While designing such a product, one often concentrates on the space restraint, when the real focus must be on optimizing this space, keeping in mind the functions it caters to.
The concept of this pod must be inventive and unique that would make it relevant to every background, with little room given to the user for customization. Amenities that might be needed by the user inside must be designed.
Privacy is the topmost priority. Any digital intervention or automation to the product might also be made as long as it serves the purpose of disconnecting the user from the outside world.
Compact - the pod must be designed to be lightweight, with a simple and modular design so that it can be replicated.
Portable - the pod must be easy to move with the mechanism provided for its installation
Function - the experience inside the pod must be comfortable and safe.
Privacy - the pod must enable an ambiance of silence and no disturbance.
The pod must be within the dimensions of 2m x 1.5m x 2m. The Pod must have a comfortable seating space, a storage nook, charging station, and sufficient lighting.