CreateNED update: participatory neighborhood design

Welcome back to CreateNED! In July of 2015 we announced that we were excited to be part of this project, a recipient of ArtPlace America’s 2015 National Grants Program and a collaboration between Allied Media Projects, RestoreNED, and The Work Department. The project utilizes art, green design, technology, and community engagement to revitalize Northeast Detroit’s Parks. Through a series of innovation “Design Labs” we hosted discussions and activities with the CreateNED advisory board consisting of 9 advisors from District Three’s 9 zones, Community Organizers Pat Bosch and Karen Washington, Community Arts Coordinator Jamii Tata, Landscape Architect Jeff Klein, and grant administrators Allied Media Projects.

Advisory Board

Create NED Advisory Board: Mark Covington, Diana Morris, Ronald D. Jacobs Jr., Ronald Nemerski, Paul Martinsky, Sonja Hill, Verlene McLemore, D’Wayne McCaskill

Design Labs are a great way for different people to come together and build shared visions. Throughout our work with the Create NED team, we explored a multitude of neighborhood visions and co-created meaning from sketches and collages made by CreateNED Advisory Board members. We established NED words, a NED mood and collaborated with local artists from District 3 to help create key themes that act as a foundation for the CreateNED story.

Advisory Board working together

Advisory Board working together to design the future CreateNED Identity

Create NED launch activity

Ideas collected from the CreateNED launch

Local artist iterations

Design exercise with local artists

This human-centered approach to design facilitated direct involvement of community members to mold the Create NED identity which grounds the work in a consistent voice that community members can trust. This identity also informs other areas of the project like the toolkit (described below), website, newspaper, and park park design. We chose visual elements that were fun, open, and welcoming to make sure that all communication tools are accessible for all ages and reading abilities, as well as in all forms from print to the web.

Create NED logo

CreateNED Brand Identity

With these components, we created a communication toolkit (a set of essential pieces that convey important information to neighborhood residents: postcard, digital and DIY cut/paste park meeting flyers, surveys, and social media assets). We also created visual brand guidelines which helps the CreateNED community team to easily access, implement, and generate new material while maintaining continuity across all applications.

Postcard Postcard

Save the Date Postcard

We then moved on to create Volume 23 No.1 Winter/Spring 2016 issue of Ned’s Notes, Create NED edition. We took a new spin on the newspaper by taking inspiration from older editions of Ned’s Notes (in print since 1983/84) and melding styles with the new identity. We used splashes of bright orange and what we came to call ‘NED bits’ to create a fun newspaper that captured the energy of the community. This issue introduces CreateNED, Advisory Board members, CreateNED Parks and Festivals, and stories from District 3.


Ned's Notes, CreateNED Edition

We are currently working on the RestoreNED website, wherein the CreateNED pages will live and give Detroiters and all visitors many ways to get engaged, informed, and involved. We look forward to this iterative process as we reach back out to the Advisory Board and our partners for feedback as we develop the website. Please check back as this exciting project evolves.



If you would like to get involved please fill out the contact form.

Upcoming Events

Wish Egan Park Planning Meeting, Thursday April 21, 5-7PM

Festival 1: May 21 @ John R Park (between Greendale and Grixdale)

Festival 2: July 16 @ Krainz-Wood Park (18301 Healy Ave, 48234)

Festival 3: Date TBD @ Wish-Egan Park (19800 Schoenherr at State Fair, 48205)