2008-2012. Part of the work I set out for myself on the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation’s Freshkills Park development team was to develop and design a range of outreach materials performing a variety of functions: explaining the history and infrastructure of the Freshkills Park site, the regulations and process governing it and the park development projects underway within it; and helping the public re-imagine a site that had been so identified with waste and environmental neglect as a refuge and space for recreation, regeneration and environmental stewardship.
Anchored by a set of visual identity guidelines produced by consultant Project Projects, I produced a range of materials to suit different contexts and points of engagement. I served as primary writer, editor and designer of these materials and products.
In addition, I developed the content and assisted in oversight of consultant design work for temporary and permanent exhibits and signage.
2015. A 22"x32" poster and animated video produced for Trade Unions for Energy Democracy and Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung to advocate for labor unions, globally, to take up the cause of public ownership of energy infrastructure. Through Meerkat Media, I co-produced, co-wrote the video's script and poster's explanatory text, illustrated and designed the poster, designed, directed and co-animated the video.
2015. Information graphics produced for ioby for two reports: one detailing the breadth and reach of its impact and one documenting citizen-driven projects to improve or re-imagine a component of public transit service (for which there is also a web version, pictured here).
2013. Project storybook for a service design research project I co-led, through a fellowship with Public Policy Lab, investigating the successes and challenges of the NYC public high school choice process undertaken by 7th and 8th graders each year. I was recruited as the design fellow on the project (along with a strategy fellow and an ethnographer) but also contributed substantially to research strategy and synthesis of findings.
Subsequent to the research project, I created graphics and animation for a video documenting the project.
2010. ResilientCity.org held a design ideas competition to solicit new strategies from urban practitioners in planning and designing cities to be resilient to large-scale shocks like climate change and peak oil. Urban designer Michael Haggerty and I prepared a response to the prompt of designing for food self-sufficiency in an urban neighborhood.
Beyond concept development and writing, I laid out and developed design language for the proposal and produced photo-illustrations and diagrams.
2006. Part of my contribution to our MIT team’s Milla Digitalurban design vision for the City of Zaragoza’s public/private redevelopment were proposals for several built interventions and digital services to engage citizens in considering the potential of their role in the city through technology. For the printed prospectus, I conceived and produced a series of two-page spread graphic scenarios illustrating these proposals.
2014-2016. The house I lived in was a cooperative: 20 of us shared a single household and the responsibilities for managing and growing as a residential community. After moving into the house, I conducted both formal and informal research on the challenges I and my housemates faced in operating as a household and as a communal group. In conversation and co-development with them, I developed procedural and physical responses to help address challenges in membership recruitment, accountability to house commitments, mutual support, compost management, group meals, budgeting, bedbug control, landlord relations, storage and workspace needs.
The calendar through which we sign up for our two regular cook and clean shifts used to be a page from a spreadsheet printed every five weeks and taped to the wall. It was hard to read and harder to tell whether everyone was participating—an empty dinner table was often the only way to note a gap in participation. I designed a more visual calendar that balances more clarity and accountability with celebration of housemates (whose beautiful portraits are featured in the magnetic photo frames during their birthdays or special occasions). When a housemate has signed up for their shifts in a given cycle, they flip over the magnets beside their name label from red to green (the name label is itself a whiteboard magnet, to accommodate a shifting house population). The vibrant visual indicator helps remind housemates to sign up and makes them more accountable to the rest of the house.
The dining table we shared sat 10 people at an absolute maximum—half the residents of the house. Housemates were eating in shifts or in separate rooms and were wary of bringing friends to dinner for fear of crowding. I surveyed the space and the different needs and constraints for the table—meetings, meals, projects, parties, daily clean-up—and proposed some options for a new, custom table. Since the proposal was for a much larger table than before, I made a paper prototype and placed it on the ground for housemates to maneuver around and weigh in on. The final design we developed—built by a carpenter friend—can be separated into two halves to add additional table space, and easily bolted back together. The inside legs of both halves are inset so as to allow comfortable seating at either of the short ends.
2007. My master’s thesis (PDF, 10MB) in urban planning focused on mobile user-generated and location-accessed digital annotation of physical places with text and media, and how this emerging field can be useful to urban planners and designers. The thesis establishes a taxonomy of modes of spatial annotation (both physical and virtual); catalogues annotations made in two neighborhoods each for the projects Yellow Arrow (in New York City) and [murmur] (in Toronto); and develops a preliminary methodology to analyze and compare trends in distribution, placement and content of annotations. So-called ‘placelogging’ content is found to distinguish itself from other forms of spatial annotation by its application a wide range of public and private places with predominantly subjective, first-person content.
Participant interviews and research on related technologies are used to support claims that placelogging could be used to identify sites of shared meaning in the city as well as to foster place attachment, claim to space and social connections among participants. Uses in community development are considered through three case studies of implementation. Uses for revealed meanings are proposed in preservation, identification of development priorities and sensitivity of response in urban development.
2013-present. A 5-week course I teach to graduate students in the Programs for Sustainable Planning & Development at Pratt Institute. The course introduces students to methods and principles of visual representation and reasoning and coaches them through thinking strategically and comprehensively about how information could and should be communicated in a planning context.
The course focuses on:
1) developing critical capacities in order to evaluate and discuss the effectiveness and suitability of different approaches to representing information;
2) using information graphics to synthesize various sources of information and to formulate argumentative narratives about the built environment; and
3) initiating in a design process that employs some advanced methods and tools for making graphics, while integrating common software tools.