Pockets Rockers project is realized in collaboration with CityLab and UCLA Housing Department.
Many of the issues experienced by extreme commuting students at UCLA are spatial in nature. They need safe spaces on campus to nap; they need safe spaces to store their belongings; they need spaces to prepare food or purchase it cheaply. While school policies could have a large impact on the lives of commuting students, the core issues remain spatial, and necessitate spatial solutions.
Recognizing that overly specific solutions can be both empowering and isolating, Pocket Rockers address the sleeping and storage needs of students with extreme commutes while also benefiting the campus at large. Inspired by existing ergonomic profiles and coated in welcoming, colorful patterns, these all-in-one chairs can be configured for sitting, studying, lounging, and sleeping, with a pull-over enclosure to provide more privacy as well as shade. Commuters benefit from the backpack-like body of the cushioned chair, which satisfies the need for space to store items common to everyday student life and necessary overnight campus stays. At the same time, non-commuters may just as enthusiastically embrace these new spaces for studying and socializing. These playful rocking lounge chairs contain storage pockets and a pull-over hood for privacy and to reduce glare on day-time screens, among other features.
Between the capacities for storage, reconfiguration, and broad appeal, the Pocket Rockers de-stigmatize on-campus sleeping. They also provide an opportunity to learn more about student commuters: integrated software senses pressure when students are occupying the furniture, allowing opt-in data collection on popular occupancy times and length of stay. In this way, the Pocket Rockers serve as both a survey tool and an inviting, inclusive stop-gap solution.