Despina Papadopoulos @ChangeModel is visiting CCS and on Friday she delivered thesis crits and portfolio reviews for @CCSMFAIXD.
Steve Stavropoulos, second-year MFA IxD student, presented his design for a service that would allow users to flag repeating issues in their neighborhood, anything from stray dogs or crime, dangerous streets or broken street lights. These concerns would then come to the attention of community groups such as schools, businesses, and churches. Despina advocated for a few foundational shifts.One shift was reframing the “user” as “citizen”, to emphasize the ability and responsibility of individuals to participate in the making of their neighborhoods. Another was to suggest how self-organizing groups can emerge as a result of shared concerns about a given issue. A system for reporting and tracking is one level of design; enabling the emergence of effective collaboration across previously uncoordinated actors is another level of power.
These reframings build on Steve’s original vision of a platform that allows citizens to be empowered to form community and to be designers of their own goals and coordinated actions. His insights include features to ensure report-back to citizens who have flagged issues, closing the feedback loop, and not assuming that a response by the community constitutes a “solution.” This, in turn, in future versions would allow for a network of shared knowledge-in-action so that neighborhoods and even cities and states can learn from each other.