Solitary Commute

Speculative Design / Case Study


In this project, our objective was to document and explore the roles, materials, and possible qualities of the many things we consume/do everyday in order to examine how they’re situated within larger systems.

1. Methodically examine objects and experiences in their own worlds by collecting observations.

2. Visualize, organize, and present observations in a way that exposes new understandings.

3. Transition from a narrowly framed investigation centered around oneself into a more complex, interconnected, set of questions.


This project began with documenting. And I mean documenting everything. Throughout the week I tracked everything I ate, drank, screen time, I collected trash, and logged the time I spent driving. At first it was hard, but by the end of the week it sorta became kinda a fun exercise and also made me hyper aware of everything I did.

Throughout my process of collecting and documenting I found that I spend a majority of my time in my car driving alone. This lead to the realization that I depend so heavily on my vehicle and without a large public Transit system in Michigan, I, like many others find themselves behind the wheel. 

After landing on the idea surrounding Michigan’s lack of transit, my initial sketches looked at ways in which to incorporate common items associated with driving, accountability, and self reflection. From there, my final solution was creating ‘Solitary Commute Citations’ that the user can fill out and self analyze their own means of commuting and begin to see the greater implications they are contributing to.

“Convenience and privilege to a means to get around is something that is often taken for granted. Commuting is something so many of us are used to doing. We have places to be and for most the means to get there is by vehicle. Southeast Michigan lacks a large public transportation system and because of this we find ourselves behind the wheel. All of this driving leads to greater pollution, potential health risks, excessive costs, and wasted time than those in cities who can depend on Public Transit. So whose fault is it? Us? The RTA? The Lawmakers?”