Case studies are useful tools to tell the story of our collective impact, so here is the Design/Relief final case study. Storytelling is an expected output of social impact projects. And with multi-media tools at hand, stories have the potential to turn into further compelling means of engagement. This document aims to be exhaustive, self-critical and engaging, and is complemented by our Design/Relief documentary FILM but also by our Design/Relief website, Tumblr and also by the new content that will be generated by upcoming creative placemaking and civic initiatives. All will eventually feed into AIGA/NY’s dedicated platform to engage designers in shaping our communities, a.k.a “Making the City”. With an honest assessment of our successes and failures, this case study aspires to inspire others. It features a detailed analysis of the project’s roots, process, strategies of engagement, hurdles, output and outcomes. It is a critical component of what we set to create as part of the Design/Relief initiative final deliverables.

You will find in this document genuine reflections on the foundation of the initiative, its structure and project management challenges and many lessons learned, supported by feedback garnered from both our team members and community partners. It attempts to both demonstrate the role designers can play in the public realm and how community engagement can be improved by design.

There are two versions of the Design/Relief case study, downloadable HERE, the second one, downloadable THERE:  is more thorough, with an Annex featuring a “how to” toolbox for future endeavors, as well as site reports created by our embedded storytellers (David Al-Ibrahim for Red Hook, Carolyn Louth for Rockaway and B. Tyler Silvestro for the Seaport). You’ll also find a visual inventory of all design deliverables created over the past year and useful lists to inspire other chapters of AIGA and designers to undertake a creative placemaking by design project in their own backyard.

Please enjoy, cut, paste, copy and share.
Laetitia Wolff, Program Director, Civic Initiatives

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