Port of San Diego
Enhancing the
Visitor Experience.

Official Press Release

The Embarcadero provides a picturesque view of the San Diego bay and serves both locals and tourists as a destination for biking, running, and walking. As part of efforts to enhance the visitor experience on the waterfront through smart technology, the Port of San Diego has initiated an Interactive Kiosk Program with the goal of installing approximately 30 informational kiosks on the San Diego waterfront in 2018.


The Port approached FreshForm to provide innovative thinking, iconic design and a human-centered approach to deliver concepts of the physical structure, the user experience (UX) and a high-level technical strategic. Our challenge was to envision a way to deliver digital advertising, wayfinding and public service announcements to the waterfront.


The solution needed to consider a variety of factors, including: adults and children, the environment (year-round weather), advances in technology and hardware, and eco-friendly materials.

Design Challenge

How might we design a physical/digital structure that is seminal to San Diego by enhancing the experience for people visiting the San Diego waterfront?
Digital rendering of final kiosk
Behind the Scenes 1
Behind the Scenes 2
Behind the Scenes 3
Behind the Scenes 1
Behind the Scenes 2
Behind the Scenes 3
Summary of the Design Concept*

The guiding sail concept is inspired by San Diego’s deep maritime history and the innovations driving modern competitive racing. An aerodynamic sail and mast captivate visitors while beckoning San Diego’s future as a hub of innovation.


The full size digital display is raised off the ground to introduce lightness and allow for the feeling of movement. One side may be used for advertising, while the other side may be used for digital interaction (ie touchscreen). A mobile phone charging station, emergency call button and wayfinding dashboard may be options as you approach the front of the kiosk. The scale considers how both adults and children will interact with the features, including the ability to read maritime facts and other relevant educational material from the viewpoint of a child. The height also intends to comply with all ADA guidelines.


We envisioned the mast to include lighting and a sequential numbering system to function as a marker for joggers or for visitors looking to identify a meeting point. The full color LED lighting system will allow for a choreographed audio/visual experience during holidays and flagship events. And opportunities such as Placemeter tracking may provide additional data collection and the system may have the ability to push/pull to/from personal mobile devices.


*The features listed above are merely concepts and may be rolled out over time. The final feature set will be determined based a variety of factors – some outside of our control or recommendations.

Project Insights
Digital rendering of final kiosk

“You know it’s a good team when their passion pushes boundaries and they create a bold vision. You know it’s a great team, when they fully embrace the challenges associated with achieving that vision in a collaborative, team building way. FreshForm is that team.”

– John Bandringa, Director, Enterprise Strategy & Innovation
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Digital rendering of final kiosk

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