New DFA NYU Project for Academic Year 2017-2018 aiming to tackle hatred and racism.
Design for America of NYU (DFA NYU) is starting a project in collaboration with I Am Your Protector (IAYP) in Fall 2017. The IAYP organization is a community of protectors who stand up for each other across religion, race, gender, and beliefs, and act as amplifiers of a constructive and unifying message. They are dedicated to showcase inspiring individuals, bring awareness and change societal patterns that create prejudice and hatred between groups of people.
In this project, we will explore innovative solutions to address the following question:
How might we create safe spaces (physical, social and mental) that trigger and nurture dialogue across multiple and diverse groups and minorities?
Studies in multiple fields (sociology, urban planning, architecture, psychology and ecology) have shown that our socio-material and cultural environments can act in a powerful way in affording behaviors, creating interpretations and reinforcing messages that either unify or polarize communities. The aim of the project is to explore the creation and utilization of spaces, be they physical, mental or social, as facilitators of contact and interaction between seemingly opposed groups of people. Through expansive and exploratory research, we will develop a deep understanding of the context in order to inform our ideation process and develop meaningful and useful solutions (products, services, programs, campaigns or spaces) that we will prototype and hopefully pilot in Spring 2017.
The project runs throughout the academic year of 2017-2018: The Fall semester is concentrated on research and ideation, producing a light prototype by December. The Spring semester develops the prototype further, into a tangible, impactful solution.
We are looking to build a multidisciplinary team to commit to the project preferably for the entire academic year, each member contributing between 3-5 hours weekly to the project. Fall semester participation is also considered. To create a team of 5-6 people, members from the following, or similar, academic disciplines are targeted:
- Design and Digital Media
- Urban Planning
- Political Science
- Public policy
- Art with an interest in community-based art
- Yet, anyone passionate and interested by the topic is welcome to apply.
The project is officially starting early September but we have already started doing some exploratory research and the interview process to join the team is open. This is a unique opportunity to work on a multidisciplinary project with fantastic professional and faculty mentors, and to learn or hone your design thinking skills while addressing a complex social issue and developing solutions that can have impact on our communities and our society. If you have questions about the project or are interested in joining the team, please email Katja Luostarinen at firstname.lastname@example.org.