The Flash Pod

In Think-Make-Do by Claire AdamsLeave a Comment

This semester Geneva Strauss-Wise and I are doing a Special Studies in Design/Build. We are following the Design Thinking process with guidance from the DT directors, Zaza Kabayadondo and Borjana Mikic. We are going to be re-purposing an out-of-use cart that was previously made to be a delivery cart for Smith catering. The cart will be transformed into a pod that will serve as a mobile pop-up space that students can use to display their art or publications, host events or advertise for their org or campaign, and sell food or other goods. We are hoping that this cart will address the lack of student-run spaces on campus by providing people with a place to connect and interact. We are also hoping that the cart will provide a means of re-activation for dead spaces on campus.
The initial idea for this project came from the desire to increase student access to healthy and affordable snack options outside of dining hall hours. Since then the project has developed into much more! We’ve realized that the food cart project will promote not only healthy and affordable snack options, but enable student organizations to create and activate new spaces all over campus. This increases the visibility and effectiveness of orgs, and also begins to resolve a problem of what we have termed “dead spaces”, spaces all over campus which exist in disuse due to design flaws. </p></br>

We hope that the pod’s design will operate as a new node, or platform for student gathering which strengthens community ties, facilities important conversations and reactivates certain spaces on campus which are underused. The pod will provide a new, alternative space which encourages students to pause in their day, wherever on campus they may be, and connect through exploration, engagement, and conversation around both ideas as well as food.The pod will be designed in way which allows for the user to easily hitch and unhitch it from a bike for storage, cleaning or repair purposes. The pod will be highly mobile and lightweight and easily towed by the average bike rider.

Check out the photos below to see how our process is evolving.

IMG_7806 We started the semester by collecting insights and feedback from our stakeholders, the Smith community.



We have just finished conducting our second in a series of installations in the core of Neilson library to gather opinions for functions that the cart should contain or facilitate. We have been synthesizing the information we’ve received and we are currently moving into the building phase of the project.


          At this point we’ve done some rough sketches of how it will look as well as a working model to get an very general idea of scale.
    • IMG_7806
    • IMG_7961
    • image3
    • image11
    • image9
    • image12
    • image2
    • image1

    We are very excited about this project and the benefits that it could bring to the Smith community. Check back on this blog for more updates on our process. For other updates on our progress follow @theflashpod on Instagram.

    Claire Clapp Adams is a senior American Studies major and Landscape Studies minor; her studies revolve around the built environment and landscape history. Geneva Strauss-Wise is a senior Architecture major with interests in creative reuse and environmental psychology.

    Leave a Comment