Nominated by Caroline Hummels:


for Dynamic boarding information above train platforms

I nominate Edenspiekermann, STBY, ProRail and NS Reizigers for their design of a Dynamic boarding information display above train platforms. They have collectively succeeded in meeting a complex challenge with respect to logistics and passenger experience. Their design brings the boarding, disembarkation and transfer process into the 21st century.

Dynamic boarding information is a service innovation design consisting of a 180m-long LED display suspended directly above the train. The strip shows where the doors will be once the train stops; where first and second class and the quiet zone and bicycle storage area will be; and how crowded the various carriages are (as measured by infrared sensors on board).

The passenger information display’s beauty and power lie in its intuitiveness. It’s such a simple, natural solution, one wonders why it took so long. It demonstrates how new technology can be used to substantially improve the passenger experience, efficiency and safety of Dutch railway traffic. The design employs a bold graphic style with immediate legibility, which is crucial in the busy atmosphere of a railway station. The display appears as a natural extension of the train as it pulls into the station.

The design is the result of an intensive co-creation process in which stakeholders, including passengers, worked together closely, their respective areas of expertise and roles in the process complementing each other. In their work on this project, Edenspiekermann, STBY, ProRail and NS Reizigers have shown that cooperation is essential for successfully meeting the complex challenges of contemporary society. They have opened the design door to the transformation economy on the way to sustainability.

The expansion of design from products to systems and services casts design work in a new light and necessitates long-term everyday “testing” by users. The design of the passenger information display centres on human beings, individually and as a group. This aspect under­scores the importance of the role of a partner like STBY, which actively researched traveller behaviour on station platforms and involved passengers in co-creation sessions.

With this design, NS Reizigers and ProRail take a step forward into a new era in which they will have the capacity to monitor the behaviours of passengers and equipment. They will thus be able to swiftly anticipate opportunities and pressure points. The LED display links information about conditions on the train to passengers-to-be on the platform, exceeding limitations imposed by location, bridging time and space.

The combination of a 180m-long concrete solution with digital data shows how well the design and IT spheres can enhance each other. Their integration will become increasingly important in the future, and more and more common. In sum, this is an exemplary project.

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