The student mess at the National Institute of Design Ahmedabad is one of the favorite and frequently visited spaces on campus by the students. Almost all students living on campus have their meal 3 times a day. With almost around 200-300 students living on campus, the daily footfall is large for a relatively small place. 
As part of our human factor study, I worked along with Anvika Shetty to find insights and actionable intervention to make the NID mess a safer and better place for all students in cases of emergency.
Research & Insights
We studied the mess from an ergonomic standpoint and observed the common activities that happened. We saw many problematic areas:
1) No fire exits and fire extinguisher in the mess sitting area.
2) No safety precautions.
3) No illumination help for  exiting during power cuts.
4) A place to keep bags and other luggage.
5) No alarm system.
6) Better space layout

Dimensional plan of NID mess

We took dimensions of the entire mess to create the mess plan. This allowed us to strategically move and place all the elements and really quickly try different layouts to see what worked.

Proposed Plan

The proposed plan takes care of many ergonomic considerations. It adds extra exit points, illumination at night for power cuts, fire extinguishers and more space in crowded areas.
Virtual Testing

Dimensions of human with 95th percentile measurements

To test out the proposed space, we used a scaled (95th percentile anthropometry measurement) model of a human in virtual software where we also modeled the entire mess to scale.

Mess modelled to scale

Enough space for two 95th percentile humans to walk while carrying their plates

Illuminated pathway guides to exit

Flashing fire alarm siren to alert students

Enough space to allow two 95th percentile humans to carry their plates while one more human is collecting food

Height of fire extinguisher is ensured such that 25th percentile humans can reach

Entrance is made wide enough for students to exit quickly in case of emergency

Additional proposed fire exit

Final proposed plan

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