STREETS, SQUARES & ROUNDABOUTS: CREATIVE TOOLS FOR URBAN SPACES

Teaching Team: Deland Chan, Kevin Hsu, Maryanna Rogers

With growing adoption of digital fabrication tools, community maker spaces, and open access to civic data, the public realm has become a canvas for citizens’ imaginations. Forward-thinking cities around the world are beginning to harness the collective power of citizen-creators, including the use of “urban prototyping” to engage local communities and enliven public spaces.

In this workshop, we will tap into our ability to design with—and for—people in cities, starting with the fundamental skill of observation. We will familiarize ourselves with observation strategies for urban environments and discuss the larger ethic of “participatory design” and public engagement.

The course will kick-off with students visiting the Market Street Prototyping Festival [link: http://marketstreetprototyping.org] in San Francisco on April 10, 2015. After conducting observations at the Festival, we will next convene to synthesize our findings and try our hand at refining the set of design thinking tools we apply to urban spaces.

download the Urban Spaces Observation Toolkit