Week 10 City as Site Part 1

Jan 06, 2020

Assignment from City As Site.

I have been struggling to pick up one site for this assignment. Since this is a five week assignment, I want to pick up the one which I can accomplish a result and make it sustainable (or at least find a step to make it sustainable). Considering that, I want to pick up a site which I am interested in/motivated to work on.

This week I was only able to pick one site to work on with some rough idea about research/observation/prototyping. Next week, I am going to develop my idea further, implement a research strategy to gain information about my site, start observation/interview and make concrete plan including timeline and budget.

Site ideas

I ended up choosing “2. IDM Kitchen (2) Lunch experience”. But I'll share my 5 ideas for documentation.

1. IDM Kitchen (1) Kitchen Usage

Hypothetical problem: Improve kitchen usage

This will be an extension of my 370 Jay St assignment. I have two ideas for IDM kitchen area and the first one is about its usage.

I worked on the sink area only in my 370 Jay St assignment. This time I will work on the whole kitchen area, refrigerator, dish washer, coffee/tea area, etc. I already observed some people complaining that there are some leftovers in refrigerator and it smells bad, don't know dish washer is usable or not, etc, and I feel the same too. It would be great if I can make student/faculty group who manages kitchen area clean, and encourage people to use the kitchen cleaner.

I did not choose this because it seems too easy to work on as the final project. It won't need much effort to solve this problem.

2. IDM Kitchen (2) Lunch experience

Hypothetical problem: Improve IDM students/faculties lunch experience.

I noticed that some people do not eat lunch because they are busy and eat something looks unhealthy because they do not have time to cook/bring their lunch, and I feel sad about it. I know it is none of my business for them, but still, I am curious to know that if they want to have something more healthy if given any chance/easy opportunity. This idea also comes from the project AuthenticEat I'm working on in my entrepreneurship class.

My plan is to organize weekly lunch event so that student/faculty can gather and eat healthy home cooked food together. For a research strategy, I'll observe IDM students/faculties current lunch experience, interview them to know their problems/needs and validate my hypothesis, research community design to apply, try it out/get feedback/refine. It would be nice if I can organize several lunch events during this semester, keep doing the lunch event weekly next semester, and hopefully make it sustainable (run without ME) in the future.

3. NYC as cat lovers/cat owners community

Hypothetical problem: Not easy to make new cat friends.

It starts from my experience that I do not have any cat friends in NYC. It is useful to exchange information about vet/cat life style/toys and get to know local cat owners and make friends with them. Unlike dog owners, I feel cat owners do not have much interaction. I am wondering if other cat owners feel the same.

After doing some research, I decided not to choose this way simply because there already exist some solutions to solve the problem, Tinder-like app for cat owners, facebook group, meetup event, etc. It could be possible to find out something that those services are missing, but I decided not to do so.

4. NYC as small art galleries/cafes

I was not able to narrow down the problems yet, but they are about:

  • Which galleries have what exhibitions now?
  • When I visit new place, I want to visit local gallery/cafes with art. But currently no easy solution for that.
  • There already exists portal site for fancy galleries but not small/local galleries.

I decided not to do this because (1) there already exist portal sites for galleries (mainly fancy galleries and not for small/local) and (2) it is a bit hard to accomplish something in 5 weeks.

5. 370 Jay St Cigarette butts

Hypothetical problem: People smoke in front of 370 Jay St's entrance and throw their cigarette butts away.

This is obviously a problem for me because I do not like dirty city and to get second hand smoke effect. Also, in my undergrad art class, I worked on the cigarette butts project, and I wanted to do something more about the cigarette butts.

I decided not to do this simply because I am more interested in food idea. But I want to work on this kind of problem sometime.

Schedule (draft)

There are only 5 weeks and the first week is almost gone!

  • Week1 (11/6-11/13): Chose the site, IDM kitchen: lunch.
  • Week2 (11/13-11/20): Observation, Interview, Lunch event planning
  • Week3 (11/20-11/27): Observation, Interview, Lunch event planning.
  • Week4 (11/27-12/4): Organize the first event, collect feedback. Be careful 11/27-11/29 are holidays.n
  • Week5 (12/4-12/11): Organize the second event, and collect feedback, summarize.


iPad note uploaded here: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1joYtGDVhLw1E-C5rDq82w2iwhIWa7fWM

Also some white board ideation:


Week 11 City as Site Part 2

Week 9 Ways of Seeing