News tagged "design"

November 6, 2015 / Libby Cole and Michael Gregor

Cultivating collaboration to ensure Detroit Head Start’s successful expansion

The movement to strengthen early childhood education in Detroit is growing, and we are excited to be a part of it. The Southeast Michigan Early Childhood Funders Collaborative engaged us to plan, design, and implement a citywide campaign to boost enrollment in Detroit’s 65 Head Start centers along with our partners from Early Works.
October 5, 2015 / Libby Cole

Resilient Communities brings wireless networks to Sandy-affected neighborhoods

In 2012 and 2013, we worked with New America to design toolkits for communities to create their own mesh networks.

May 14, 2015 / Meg Heeres

Every community is resilient

This spring, we partnered again with our friend and colleague Greta Byrum at the Open Technology Institute to facilitate collaborative mapping workshops to help identify and build communication tools for neighborhood resistance in New York City.

March 24, 2014 / Nina Bianchi

Designing a better future: peer to peer toolkit primer

Recently, Nina had the opportunity to speak at the College Art Association’s national conference in Chicago on “Designing a Better Future.” This is her presentation that introduces peer-to-peer learning to more traditional college educators.

December 31, 2013 / Nina Bianchi and Greta Byrum

Distributed design: Commotion Construction Kit

Urban planners and designers generally don’t give much thought to communications infrastructure—it’s difficult to understand and outside of our core expertise. But as technology becomes increasingly essential to community health and development, urbanism professionals have an opportunity to experiment with a powerful new medium, and to interact with communities in new and more participatory ways.

December 9, 2013 / Libby Cole and Nina Bianchi

Visual Identities + AMP: An interview with Mike Medow

In October, The Work Department finished the new identity system for Allied Media Projects (AMP). Through the crucial research and ideation phases, we took a deep dive into what makes AMP unique and explored how to express these key values through a simple form. We think the process went very well and we love the end result. We asked Mike Medow, Director of Finance and Communications at AMP, a few questions about visual identities and his thoughts on the project.

November 18, 2013 / Nina Bianchi

Commotion Construction Kit launch

Since 2010, we've worked with OTI, in collaboration with the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition, to build the Commotion Construction Kit (CCK). This project is a set of essential educational tools to show people how to plan, design, install and configure community wireless networks. Designed to be a living platform, the CCK is modular and open, utilizing a simple and accessible visual language. Through this approach, users are able to mix, remix and easily generate new materials that contribute to the kit. Our utilitarian approach to design also paves the way for multilingual translations. The CCK has been recently used to build community networks locally, nationally and internationally in Detroit and Brooklyn to India and Tunisia.

March 5, 2013 / Nina Bianchi and Michael Gregor

What is your yellow holographic jumpsuit saying?

When you meet someone for the first time, there are a range of clues that inform you about the person’s daily life, personality, history, goals and dreams. You might ask yourself ‘Why is this person wearing a neon yellow holographic jumpsuit? Or a custom tailored suit? Why are they speaking loudly? What does it mean if they are wearing utility boots and holding a hammer?

December 20, 2012 / Michael Gregor

Telling the Commotion story

We recently launched two new pages that help explain how to interact with the project on a fundamental level. We’ve completed new infographics that describe how to Get Started and Get Involved with the project and the content is currently being developed by the Commotion team. Our intention was to offer simple text along with explanatory graphics that would demystify the process.

October 11, 2012 / Michael Gregor

A new home for Grito Productions

I get excited when I have the opportunity to work with creative people who have mastered their craft (and invested years doing so). So, I’ve really enjoyed completing our latest web project. We just launched the new online home of Grito Productions, which makes films that combine personal narratives with archival material to explore historical, political, and cultural themes. The company is the work of Pam Sporn, who has been telling stories through documentary film for over 25 years. She is based in New York City and grew up in Detroit.

August 2, 2012 / Nina Bianchi and Benjamin Chodoroff

Crafting the AMC 2012 conference infrastructure

Each year the Allied Media Conference has more attendees and more content than the previous year. This is great, except it means that the information gets more complicated to sort through. That’s where we come in. For 2012, we wanted to address a few issues we had noticed from previous conferences. For example, we wanted every printed and online piece of content to have a consistent look and feel. We wanted the web component to work better, offer easier ways to drill down, and offer easy ways to bookmark sessions. Last year, an overall printed schedule matrix wasn’t produced -- though it had been in other years. We thought the matrix was a huge asset for attendees, and we wanted to produce that again this year.

June 21, 2012 / Libby Cole

I'm dreaming of a beautiful user interface

We recently had the opportunity to design prototypes for Commotion, which is a software project that helps people create community wireless networks. We referred to this complicated but exciting project as "the Dream UI," since it was an opportunity to include all of the design ideas we had been dreaming of including. We had already created a brand for the project, so our goal was to combine that with a simple, streamlined process to setup (or join) a wireless mesh network. Our secondary goal was to include an integrated, educational component for first-time users to become more accustomed to the vernacular and process but not alienate advanced users at the same time. Here's an excerpt from our report about the dream UI we created for Commotion.