Design/Relief presentations

Community Hub, by Anke Stollman and Team Red Hook

Three design teams have been exploring “creative placemaking” in hurricane-damaged Red Hook, Seaport, and the Rockaways over the last nine months as part of AIGA’s Design/Relief effort. They shared their work at Industry City, a crazy workspace/market in Sunset Park.

The teams shared some goals of building connections among local people and organizations. Their mission was to create something visible, legible, and navigable, working closely with/for the community.

As an outsider, it was fun to see the work as one big AIGA Design/Relief project, instead of three separate site-specific projects. Taken that way, the output was:

  1. Research methods
    • focus on listening
    • up to 90 hours per team
    • built relationships/trust, most important thing
  2. Community interviews
    • on site, on a regular basis
    • Soundcloud archives
    • quoted in guerrilla marketing materials
    • edited into content for local paper
  3. Editorial design
    • newspaper inserts, bundled with local paper The Wave
    • Q&As, suggestions for mayor
  4. Marketing / communications
    • Chalk stencils (got new people into meetings)
    • Wheat paste posters
  5. Physical communication hubs
    • Bulletin boards at the library and community center
    • “official” flyers up top, under glass
    • community flyers underneath (pre-formatted sheets to be filled in by locals)
    • distribution team - Mini hubs to come - LED tickers in local businesses
  6. Digital communication hubs
    • Website to mirror physical hubs
    • guided input, so that details like date weren’t forgotten
    • dedicated coordinator
    • automated moderation (to avoid overwhelming coordinator) - Criteria for “official” events - Weekly list of top 10 events/posts
  7. Marketing / collateral
    • Door hangers
    • Buttons
    • Stickers
    • T-shirts
  8. Event spaces
    • Art installation collecting “thank yous” from community
    • Tourists also liked to contribute :)
  9. Events
    • Openings/closings: brought locals together, even mid-winter
    • Charettes
    • Continued interviews
  10. Book
    • Printed collection of contributions to exhibition
  11. Movie
    • to come!

For the communication hubs, system design was the bulk of the work. How do you get people involved, get information into the system, keep it manageable, etc? Visual design was a small sliver at the end. Anke Stohllmann has a great writeup on her site:


Looking forward to more talks with/from the teams!

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