Maharam STEAM Fellowship

As a summer fellow I learned how to start conversations and explore how design fits into the power and responsibility of local communities and their city

 

Civic engagement

Constituent outreach

Plain language

Facilitation

Strategic planning

Coordination

 part of my work included direct constituent outreach at local events, such as the  Sankofa Farmer's Market  

part of my work included direct constituent outreach at local events, such as the Sankofa Farmer's Market 

 

311 functions extremely well as a one to one recorder of one constituent addressing one problem (such as a pothole or sidewalk), but I was interested in using the recognizable and effective 311 infrastructure and applying it to larger city services, such as the Department of Planning and Development.

 
 two groups working through the entry sequence of city hall during the design thinking workshop

two groups working through the entry sequence of city hall during the design thinking workshop

 

The Maharam STEAM Fellowship provides support for RISD students to craft an experience that will highlight and strengthen the role of visually acute critical thinkers and problem solvers in helping to improve public policy and tackle large social issues. I worked in in the Mayor’s Center for City Services, focused on how the 311 system can be made more approachable and effective on multiple scales in Providence.

 
 a mapping of the connections made between different types of 311 cases

a mapping of the connections made between different types of 311 cases

system map of the 311 service as constituent records an issue and it is transferred through the departments for resolution, the mediator being the Mayor's Center for City Services 

 
 

The broader goal of the Maharam Fellowship is to situate fellows into atypical arenas, such as municipal government. I hosted a design thinking workshop for those in the Mayor’s Center for City Services, Senior Services and Office of Innovation to imbue design thinking into their work.

 
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Mockups of new wayfinding possibilities for the 180 year old City Hall building. The new system would achieve the Mayor's Center for City Services goals of being more transparent, accessible, and efficient in creating a new, more equitable system. 

This wayfinding project ended in a presentation to the Racial and Environmental Justice Committee facilitated by the Office of Sustainability and may continue if viable funding is secured.

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