Good Design @ Bucknell

If you’ve ever been to the lowest level of the Bertrand Library, you’ll know that a lot of space is created on the smallest floor in the building. I believe this is largely attributed to the dynamic bookshelves.

These shelves can be collapsed and expanded to create aisles of passage that otherwise would not be possible. If the shelving system was static, there would be far less room available on the bottom floor. This would probably lead to the removal of the center cubicle stations, and even some of the more open seating areas towards the back.

Here are two shelves in a ‘closed’ state:

Closed Shelves

Here are two ‘open’ shelves (an aisle created between them):

This can be done through the very simple interface found at the end of each shelf:

Using the green arrows will move the shelf in the indicated direction. The floor between each shelf includes weight detecting boards, which, as shown in this photo, will alert you if there is a user in the aisle that you may be about to close. This will disable the button from performing any action. Providing students/faculty with only 3 button choices that are all very clear in their functioning is a design choice that airs on the side of simplicity.

This system design allows the maximizing of space in an otherwise cramped area. Without the movable bookshelves, I believe much of the productivity capacity on the bottom floor would be lost.

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