Designing a Modular, Scalable Kiosk

Faced with the challenge of designing a mobile, reusable kiosk we had to think beyond the limitations of a single structure. Single structures are inherently fixed to to context; to the environment for which they are designed. To overcome this challenge we decided to design not a single structure, but a scalable and modular system of structural components. 

The modularity of the design allows it to be disassembled and reconfigured per whim. The most obvious benefit being the wide degree of flexibility and adaptability that makes this design cross-contextual and long lasting. Below you can see a range of different configurations with varying degrees of openness, allowing vendors to customize the designed experience to suit the context they are in.

Chicago Kiosk Competition

The Competition


Early this year the studio put together an entry for a competition to design a lakefront kiosk for the Chicago Biennial. The design was two fold; on one hand it had to serve as a functioning point of sale for a rotating cast of vendors, and on the other it had to stand as piece of public attraction through the cold off-season. On top of this it needed to be iconic and mobile, all on a very tight budget.


Our design focused on the relationship between the city of Chicago and the Lakefront itself. Our final concept was a mobile structure made up of reclaimed boating sails built with over 60 individual folding, frames. "Carved" into the this are public relaxation and vendor spaces, linked via a fluid, curving form.


Through collaborative iteration we explored a multitude of design possibilities and forms. Our process lead us to using modern parametric software to quickly generate a range of designs culminating in a fluid, mobile, and symbolic kiosk that engages and activates the lakefront around it.

Using reclaimed materials and machine formed frames helped to both reduce the cost and environmental impact of the design, as well as create tactile and symbolic connection to Chicago's lakefront.

The flexibility of the design allows the Kiosk to serve a number of public activations and vendor types. At once iconic; the form can be adapted by moving, extending, shortening, and curving the larger shape of the design.