College for Creative Studies, MI
Foreclosure is a historic and abundant problem in the city of Detroit. Neighbor to Neighbor is a community-led tax foreclosure prevention effort that provides opportunities and resources for people to stay in their homes. A group of 8 BFA students from the College for Creative Studies Communication Design department led by Professor Chad Reichert collaborated with Quicken Loans Community Fund (QLCF) to empower residents to apply for Property Tax Exemption (PTE). The results of this 15-week collaboration helped raise awareness and built a greater sense of trust within the Detroit community.
The presentation will address the obstacles residents faced in the application process, the human costs of tax foreclosure and how the students adapted to work alongside residents to build an inclusive and empathetic approach. Additionally, the discussion will revolve around three project steps: ethnographic research, persona development and design execution. These steps addressed the question: what happens when design students observe, listen and learn from people whose voices are left out of the decision-making process. Further, the presentation will explore how design education can evolve and continue to develop more meaningful civic/social experiences and interactions.
This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 7.1: Oakland University, MI on October 17, 2020.