Zone1/ZoneA: Reflection/ Resilience

David Frisco, Adjunct Professor, CCE
Graduate Communications Design
School of Design
Pratt Institute

ZoneA/Zone1 took place during the Fall 2013 semester of a graduate-level design studio, at a design school in New York City.
Using the NYC Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR) Report as a departure point, our teams engaged with the five most affected communities in NYC through qualitative research in the form of cultural probes and interventions, addressing each area’s unique relationship to the city’s waterfront and impacting climate change, ultimately creating a set of proposals and in some cases, implementing solutions and toolkits serving to improve grass-root resiliency efforts in each community.

Our objective was to design a responsive communication strategy as well as individual or community-led activities that advanced resiliency efforts and foster behavior change, putting preparedness at the fore. The goal was to inspire and engage a community to take action.

We concentrated on the following 5 communities identified in the NYC Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR) Report: A Stronger, More Resilient New York

  • Brooklyn-Queens Waterfront
  • East and South Shores of Staten Island
  • South Queens
  • Southern Brooklyn
  • Southern Manhattan

Our initiative focused on qualitative research strategies to utilize design as a means for transformation. With an emphasis on a human-centered, holistic, and empathic approach, our teams applied Design Thinking methodologies to localized problems and issues in an attempt to transform the behaviors of individuals in desirable and sustainable ways, while creating meaningful experiences and interactions.

Emphasizing that people are participants rather than simply users, we studied human factors — cognitive, physical, emotional, linguistic, social and cultural behaviors. We explored numerous conceptual and procedural frameworks which guide the design process, in order to address the needs of people and organizations, and convert them into progressive, sustainable solutions.