BOSTON + 311


︎Chapter 1︎︎︎
Prototyping new forms of community engagement in Chinatown

︎Chapter 2︎︎︎
Qualitative research and civic strategy with the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics 


Chapter 1


During the Urban Interactions studio in RISD Industrial Design, we1 worked with the Asian Community Development Corporation to prototype interventions to better the lives of Chinatown’s residents.

But first, we had to learn something about those residents.


1Made in collaboration with Sooho Choi and Aaron Heskes


1

INSTAGRAM SCAVENGER HUNT


2

FLYERS AND POSTCARDS

3

COLLABORATIVE MAPPING

4

URBAN DESIGN BOARD GAME

location based prompt and response


These conversations yielded three intentions:



1

Help community associations understand their constituencies with both online and in-person conversation.

2

Formalize valuable, unstructured community conversations without sacrificing complexity.

3

Maintain data transparency and ownership for citizens.



So we proposed Boston + 311:




Utilizing the existing digital infrastructure of BOS:311 which already has:
  • claim filing
  • map-based UI
  • a dedicated user base



Novel feature that allows community advocates to cite multiple claims into one actionable issue.





An auto-generated visual citation structure for data transparency and 
prioritization of issues.






“A platform for collaborative brainstorming about
quality-of-life issues in Boston.”






wireframe sketches:






Chapter 2

As a summer fellow with the Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, I was asked to continue my work with the BOS:311 system. This time, the rules had changed - less blue sky speculation and more real world constraints.

As always, I started with...

Research


in-depth interviews internally with the following departments:



311 Call Center




Public Works

New Urban Mechanics



Neighborhood Services


Innovation & Technology




Transportation



And several relevant external groups:








Analysis and Brainstorming



what could I do in 6 weeks that would meaningfully contribute to a vast system that spanned decades and departments?


Synthesis & Strategy


I visualized the 311 system based on most-recent data:

I prototyped and made the case for specific feature implementations in the short term:



1. Accessibility
human-translated multilingual support


2. Efficiency
multiple photos for easier case response


3. Transparency
humanized updates
and alerts





and created recommendations for better interdepartmental collaboration:





~fin~