Our team PlaceMaking Reimagined is a DFA NYU team. Design for America of NYU is a student club using human-centered design to address social issues in their local communities.
It was recently featured http://ndagallery.cooperhewitt.org/gallery/64407485/Connecting-to-the-CityDFA-NYU
In 2014-2016, a DFA team (including Anne-Laure Fayard) worked on a project aiming to empower women. They participated in an open innovation challenge on Women Safety and their idea, the Bindi Project, a community-centered program, was selected as a winning idea. They collaborated with a non-profit based in Kathmandu Nepal for 18 months and did a one-year pilot with 36 women in a slum of Kathmandu. They also did in winter-spring 2016 a 6-months pilot with a NY-based non-profit organization working with immigrant women in Queens.
Placemaking Reimagined aims to explore solutions to provide homeless women with the private spaces (physical and emotional) that they miss. In doing so, we hope to afford them ways to feel safe and clean and keep a sense of self. The project started in September 2017 and since March 2018, our team has been regularly interviewing and visiting women living in the street in order to develop a better understanding of their needs and explored different solutions to support them.
Ashley Tang is a senior in New York University majoring in Media, Culture, and Communication and minoring in Anthropology. Interested in humanitarian topics with a background in media, she has explored many different social issues through interdisciplinary approach such as documentary film, audio recording, and participatory media.
As part of the of PlaceMaking Reimagined project since September 2017, she had been conducting various research about different topics on homelessness including housing, shelters, city policies, gender dynamic, homeless women’s hygiene problems, etc.
She participated in the curation of UNSPOKEN : Stories About Life After Immigrating, a pop-up exhibition using interactive methods to explore how immigrants / non-immigrants shed their boundaries to truly understand each others' needs.
Katya Rozanova is a Brooklyn-based artist, designer, and technologist.
Currently she is pursuing a master’s degree in art and technology at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program, where she uses traditional and emerging technologies to create work that examines people's understanding of one another and their environment.
Kesley Murphy: As an MA student at Gallatin, Kelsey is studying how we can better engage with our local communities through creative uses of art, technology, and communication. Her goal is to study the effects of creative media on political and civic engagement and understand how - in such a segmented and saturated media landscape - we can engage with others, reach across the aisle, and make a lasting impact in our local communities. Through her research she hopes to understand how we can use storytelling and different modes of art and media communication to influence perception, decisions, and behavior, and to what extent they can help build institutions and drive progressive policies that push society forward.
Prior to enrolling at NYU, she spent two and a half years working with Courage Campaign, a California based grassroots organizing nonprofit. She designed and implemented campaigns that targeted specific audiences by leveraging insights from data analysis to effectively encourage social and political action.
Anne-Laure Fayard is the faculty advisor for DFA NYU and has been working with the PlaceMaking Reimagined team as a main mentor since Fall 2017. She is supporting all DFA projects as a faculty advisor but was a mentor and member of the Bindi Project.
Anne-Laure is an Associate Professor in the Department of Technology Management and Innovation and in the Department of Technology, Culture and Society in the Tandon School of Engineering at New York University. She is also an affiliate faculty with the department of Management and Organizations in the NYU Stern School of Business. Some of her research interests include collaboration, communication, design, space and culture.
Anne-Laure Fayard has developed or curated several installations and exhibitions in the past such as Building_space_with_words: An interactive, multi-media installation exploring the relationship between physical and virtual space (2010), Neo-nomads: what travels with you? A group exhibition at the BRIC Rotunda Gallery in Brooklyn (2011). More recently, she’s been developing tangible visualizations and interventions to study interactions and collaborations in maker spaces.
More about the Placemaking Reimagined project and how it began:
Started at September 2017 with the idea to address hygiene issues homeless women face during their menstruation period, we later found in the research phase that there’s a much greater need for a private, safe space where the women can clean themselves and feel dignified. We therefore developed our opportunity statement into “There is an opportunity to provide homeless women with private space so that they feel a sense of safety and cleanliness.” Currently in the prototyping phase, we have been doing several rapid prototypes and build relations with a few homeless women. This led us to come up with some intermediate actions while refining our idea of a private space.
Through out the process, we gained many insights, such as the different needs of the diverse types of women on the street, the common wish of the women for a private space where they could contain their “old self” and feel dignified, the lack of sense of community within the homeless women population, and the fact that we should always ready to be surprised and be flexible for changes in the Human-Center Design process.
Some progress can be seen on our instagram account.