Neighborhood Labs: Open-Sourced Community Problem-Solving Neighborhood Labs: Open-Sourced Community Problem-Solving
Education and Technology:
Microsoft Learning Tools is software that helps improve reading skills by reducing visual crowding, highlighting words, and reading text aloud, so students can engage with words in a whole new way.Learn more
- Most Read
Why Notre Dame Students Walked Out During Mike Pence’s Commencement Speechby Raleigh Van Ness
Bill Gates Pens An Essay For the Class Of 2017by Tod Perry
The ACLU Recently Issued This Travel Advisory For Anyone Preparing To Visit Texasby Penn Collins
Billy Bush Is Back—And, Wow, Is He Woke?
Trump Just Denied Russian Allegation Literally No One Accused Him Ofby Eric Pfeiffer
A Mom's Side-By-Side Photos Reveal The 'Flip Side' Of Postpartum Depressionby Penn Collins
Here’s Chris Cornell’s Last Tweet To His Wife Before He Suddenly Passed Awayby Adam Albright-Hanna
Texas Passes Bill To Prevent Non-Christians From Adopting Kidsby Kate Ryan
Women On Twitter Share The Most Obvious Concepts That Have Been ‘Mansplained’ To Themby Penn Collins
Neighborhood Labs: Open-Sourced Community Problem-Solving
We had to ask ourselves how we, as designers researchers, could help enable these inhabitants to discuss and tackle their shared problems, to make them public and create possibilities for collective action—which, in our hypothesis, ultimately may lead to a strengthened social structure in the neighborhood.
Considering the demographic structure of the area, we also have to ask ourselves the question of how to provide access to a communication infrastructure not only for digital natives, but also for citizens who have never touched a laptop or mobile phone before: our contribution would have to be an open-source system and allow digital but also analog access, incorporate existing means of communication, but also use new technologies to adapt old ones, and it should make adaption and experimentation by citizens possible.
In order to get some basic elements of the system going, we are working on designing several access points for this system: a web-platform where all the threads of information will converge and a mobile app which can provide contextual information about local problems, small interventions that bridge the gap between analog and digital (digital postbox, sensor-equipped poster board or a mobile polling booth), as well as locals that act as agents in this socio-material infrastructure.
The solutions are being built to help inhabitants to connect and interact through making problems visible, discussable and thus public. As an example, an individual who feels a strong discontent about the rundown state of the public playgrounds in the neighborhood can post this viewpoint on the website, from which gets spread to other media, e.g. a “hybrid” posterboard that is equipped with RFID technology. This then would display this opinion and provide participating inhabitants with the opportunity to communicate interest and to be both contributing as well as updated on its progress.
Followers of the idea can thus gather virtually and personally around the “playground issue” and enrich it with information (Who owns them?) and discursive viewpoints (Who needs them?). As the support and publicity for the issue grows, so does the ability for inhabitants to act on it. Some of these elements and parts of the process are already working, some are in a phase of early prototyping and others are still purely conceptual. Along with the residents of Fisher Island we will iteratively adapt the system’s elements, design new ones and slowly work towards a communal, collaborative solution which helps to change the neighborhood for the better.