Community co-design to increase resilience in Western Addition
Co-design | Prototyping
Over the course of a year, in partnership with the African American Arts and Culture Complex (AAACC), research and design an initiative to increase community resilience in San Francisco's Western Addition neighborhood.
We organized and lead an 8-week design intensive for AAACC youth, who learned about the design thinking, research, physical prototyping, and presenting their ideas. We also received $46,000 in grant funding for youth stipends, community events, prototyping, and construction / build / maintenance. Support for the initiative from community members was rated 4.5/5 (n=50).
After a government initiative called redevelopment, the African American population in San Francisco fell from 13% in the 1970’s to <3% today.
Our partner, the AAACC, holds more Black art companies than any other institution in the Bay Area and is a magnet for community events and artist expression.
Our work was inspired by a 2015 local residents’ ethnographic study that described the area around the AAACC as a “social gathering desert.” The residents shared a vision of the AAACC becoming “a beacon or symbol to outsiders of excellence in Black arts and culture.”
The two goals of the initiative are:
- Providing a space for the community gathering
- Increasing awareness of the AAACC
The audience includes people who work in the building, visit the building, and live nearby. A secondary audience is broader San Francisco residents and visitors.
Our team includes Louise Laub, Katie Jacquez, Shiv Kehr, Aditi Mathur, Tetiana Muraviova, Georgia Came. My role involves (rotating) team lead, partnerships and community engagement, communications, grant writing and presenting, and workshop facilitating.
Our team of Design Fellows includes Lani, Bibi, Journey, Dyncan, and Cam.
After receiving a $10,000 grant from CCA’s Impact Awards, we launched our Design Fellows Program. We selected five local youth who are interested in art and have strong leadership skills. For eight weeks over the summer, we facilitated design workshops and experiences with the youth covering research, synthesis, insights, prototyping and iteration. Key activities included interviewing 15 community members, developing prototypes, gathering and addressing feedback, and organizing two community events.