PRESS RELEASE – The Red Hook HUB to Launch on December 6, 2014

The Public Information System Brings Red Hook Residents a New Way to Share and Access Community Information. Created through AIGA/NY’s Design/Relief initiative, the HUB launches its website and participatory bulletin boards at the Brooklyn Public Library and Good Shepherd’s Miccio Center in Red Hook, Brooklyn

New York, NY, November 24, 2014 – The Red Hook HUB will launch on Saturday December 6, 2014, offering a new platform to share community information in Red Hook. The public information system collects and displays community information on strategically located bulletin boards, digital displays, and online platforms. The launch includes the unveiling of the HUB’s participatory bulletin boards at the Brooklyn Public Library and Good Shepherd’s Miccio Center, as well as the official launch of the HUB website. A ribbon cutting ceremony open to the public will commemorate the event at the Brooklyn Public Library in Red Hook, 7 Wolcott Street, on Saturday December 6, 2014 at 11:30 am.

The Red Hook HUB was created through the AIGA/NY Design Relief Initiative by a team of graphic designers, community engagement strategists and storytellers working in collaboration with local partners Red Hook Initiative’s Digital Stewards, Good Shepherd Services, and the Brooklyn Library to address the community information needs of Red Hook residents during crisis and non-crisis conditions.  Though the launch of the HUB marks a beginning for the program in Red Hook, it is also the concluding event and final outcome of AIGA/NY’s Design/Relief: the participatory design initiative aiming to engage three New York City neighborhoods in imagining a more vibrant future for themselves as they overcome the lingering effects of Super Storm Sandy. The New York chapter of AIGA (the nation’s leading professional association of graphic designers) explores design’s potential in creative placemaking, a field defined by the intentional use of arts and artists to shape the physical, social, and economic future of communities. Design/Relief is supported by an innovation grant from ArtPlace America.

The final implementation of Design/Relief’s Red Hook HUB marks an important moment in the development of this project, following a year of public engagement with the Red Hook community in the form of ideation sessions, community workshops, panels and hackathons, all involving the active participation of local youth, social services organizations, and tenant associations. The project also benefited from the support of the Red Hook Coalition, and has garnered great attention from other post-Sandy recovery effort groups in the neighborhood. Following several months of complex negotiations and permit acquisitions, the HUB’s inauguration signals a major coup for the Red Hook community who described to the team a need for a coordinated communication system that would allow them to more effectively share trusted information, as seen during the Hurricane.

The HUB backend system was conceived to provide an easy user experience, inviting residents to post basic and timely events and information they can share with their peers, from babysitting services to events, all of which serves directly the Red Hook community. “The Hub will provide different types of information in digital format on the website, ticker, and weekly e-newsletter—and in analog format on the Hub bulletin boards. A dedicated Hub coordinator will coordinate and bring the different platforms together.” says Anke Stohlmann, co-designer on the project.

A ribbon-cutting launch event will take place on Saturday, December 6, at the local Brooklyn public library branch in Red Hook, on Wolcott and Lorraine. Refreshments will be served and public officials, including Council Member Carlos Menchaca, will join our design team in celebrating this exciting endeavor, and publicly recognize the community for their involvement.

“The HUB functions as a complement to the local community WIFI network and is designed with multiple modes of inputs: social media, a hotline, and paper forms to give all residents an avenue for engagement. The system is set up for community ownership and governance, which will be critical to its success,” says Tony Schloss, Director of Community Initiatives at Red Hook Initiatives.

“It was gratifying to be able to engage with the Red Hook community to help determine how we could be most effective as graphic designers. I’m proud that the HUB is a practical and accessible solution that also has potential to be used in other communities.” says Alicia Cheng, co-designer on the project.

 “Our HUB project serves to “democratize” local information flow by decentralizing it, making it more accessible to residents especially those living in the Red Hook houses and by making parameters for public participation clear,” says James Andrews, community engagement strategist.

“At its core, the HUB is a network of people and local organizations working together to share important information.  The HUB grew from a community-driven design process, and over the coming year it will continue to expand and evolve to better meet the needs of people in Red Hook,” says David Al-Ibrahim, storyteller.

“Communication-driven by nature, Design/Relief’s graphic designers have successfully demonstrated how to articulate these places’ characters, what defines them and remind us time and again for whom they are there,” says Laetitia Wolff, Design/Relief Program Director.

“At AIGA/NY, Design//Relief is part of Making the City, the part of our organization that compels us as designers to imagine the future of design, and not just repackage its past.” says Juliette Cezzar, President of AIGA/NY.

The Red Hook HUB project was developed by:
Alicia Cheng, MGMT., designer
Anke Stohlmann, Lil’ Robin, designer
James Andrews, The Amplifier Project, community engagement strategist
David Al-Ibrahim, storyteller and communication designer

In partnership with:
Anthony Schloss, Red Hook Initiatives’ Digital Stewards
Jennifer Zanger, Reginald Flowers, Good Shepherd Services
Jesse Montero and Sandra Sutton, Brooklyn Library, Red Hook branch

AIGA/NY is the largest chapter of AIGA, the nonprofit professional association for design. Founded in 1914 and headquartered in New York City, AIGA has brought design to the world, and the world to designers. The New York Chapter aligns with AIGA’s overall mission to advance design as a respected craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force. From content that defines the global practice to events that connect and catalyze, AIGA/NY works to enhance the value and deepen the impact of design on business, society and our collective future.

The Design/Relief project is overseen by Laetitia Wolff, Program Director, with current AIGA/NY board members Juliette Cezzar and Manuel Miranda, and past board members Willy Wong and Glen Cummings. For the complete list of team members and project updates please visit:

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ArtPlace America provides grants and loans, supports research, and conducts outreach and advocacy. To date, ArtPlace America has awarded 134 grants totaling $42.1 million to 124 organizations in 79 U.S. communities (and a statewide project in the state of Connecticut). Foundations participating in ArtPlace America include Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William Penn Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Surdna Foundation, and two anonymous donors. ArtPlace America also seeks advice and counsel from close working relationships with various federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education, and Transportation, along with leadership from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council. ArtPlace America is also supported by a $12 million loan fund capitalized by six major financial institutions and managed by the Nonprofit Finance Fund. Participating institutions are Bank of America, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Chase, MetLife, and Morgan Stanley.

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