Visible, Legible, Navigable

This short film documents the Design/Relief initiative from start to finish. As one of the initiative’s main deliverables, it demonstrates the critical role of storytelling in social impact design, and capture how designers, community engagement strategists and storytellers together worked to aid three waterfront communities of South Street Seaport (Manhattan), Red Hook (Brooklyn), and the Rockaways (Queens) in imagining a more vibrant future for themselves as they overcome the lingering effects of Superstorm Sandy. This film is as much about the story of communities coping with their future as it is about designers learning to engage with complex urban issues in their own backyards.
The 6-minute film made by Meshakai Wolf and Zac Nicholson, documents a year-long design process, it shows inspiring moments of engagement with residents on the streets of New York, and captures a sense of progress among the teams as they were experiencing their own, small but meaningful, impact on the ground building stronger identities in these ever-shifting neighborhoods.

“The story of a place is best defined by its inhabitants and throughout the documentation of Design/Relief we witnessed the project designers, community strategists and storytellers skillfully foster and instigate the communities’ design-focused responses to Hurricane Sandy. As filmmakers, we were drawn to this type of action-oriented, innovation project and appreciated the opportunity to capture the process as it unfolded,” says filmmaker Meshakai Wolf.

The film was launched on February 16, 2015 at a public event, hosted by NeueHouse, followed by a panel and Q+A moderated by Design/Relief Program Director Laetitia Wolff, featuring filmmakers Meshakai Wolf and Zac Nicholson, as well as David Al-Ibrahim, Red Hook team storyteller; Carolyn Louth, Rockaway team storyteller and Tyler Silvestro, Seaport team storyteller.

A film by Band of Light
Directed, edited and photographed by Meshakai Wolf and Zac Nicholson
Music by David Dahlquist
Executive producer: Laetitia Wolff

Team members:
The Red Hook HUB team is composed of Alicia Cheng (MGMT., designer), Anke Stohlmann (Lil’ Robin, designer), James Andrews (community engagement strategist), and David Al-Ibrahim (storyteller).
Red Hook partners and supporters include Jill Eisenhardt, Tony Schloss, Dabriah Alston and the Digital Stewards of Red Hook Initiative // Reginald Flowers, Amy Cohen, Jennifer Zanger, Annie Minguez, Good Shepherd Services // Jesse Montero and Sandra Sutton, Brooklyn Public Library; Gita Nandan, Red Hook Coalition and NY Rising.

The “Dear Rockaway,” team is composed of Natasha Chandani and Danielle Aubert (Placement, designers), Zach and Greg Mihalko (Partners&Partner, designers), Daniel Latorre (The Wise City, community outreach strategist, and Carolyn Louth (art director/strategist, storyteller).
Rockaway partners and supporters include Sophia Skeans and Dan Guarino, Rockaway Artists Alliance // Kevin Boyle, The Rockaway Times // Salvatorre Lopizzo, YANA, Milan Taylor and his team, Rockaway Youth Taskforce // David Selig; Kevin Alexander, Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation; Susan Locke, The Wave

The Catch—&—Release team is composed of Yeju Choi (project lead designer), Francesca Birks and Josh Treuhaft (Arup, community outreach strategists), Cristina Fleming and Stephanie Lukito, The Public Society (part 1 storyteller), and Tyler Silvestro (part 2 storyteller).
Seaport partners and supporters include Catherine Hughes, Community Board1 // Sheri Signer, Ann Tuomey DePiro and Marisa O’Hara, South Street Seaport Museum // Marco Pasanella and Whitney Barrat, Old Seaport Alliance // Frank Mineo, Barbara Mensch, Naima Rauam, Charles Deroko, Gary Fagin, Zette Emmons, Kit White, Jack Putnam, our Seaport Storytellers.

Design/Relief Executive Committee is composed of current AIGA/NY President Juliette Cezzar, and Willy Wong, Glen Cummings and Manuel Miranda and Laetitia Wolff, Program Director.
AIGA/NY Advisors: Rachel Abrams, Su Barber, Agnieszka Gasparska, Josh Smith and Matt Spangler

Stacey Panousopoulos, AIGA/NY Director of Operations
David Frisco and Andrew Shea, Pratt Institute
Jamie Bennet and Lyz Crane, ArtPlace America
Kevin Konrad, Sam Morales and Sylvia Chan, NYC&CO
Len Stein, Visibility PR
Linda Miller, PR
Taylor Kuhn and Chris Mills, Design/Relief interns,
Nikki Chung, Once & Future
Jaime Cohen, art director
Ulli Barta and Fabrice Nadjari, Studio 5/5
Susan Silberberg, CivicMoxie
Donald Hyslop, Tate Modern
Ruedi Baur, Integral Ruedi Baur
Terri Matthews, Town&Gown
Alexandre Degardin
Alan Tansey
Wanted Design
Pioneer Works
Rooftop Films
Linco Printing
VISTA + CRC Imaging Group
American Apparel
Chuck Agency
Civic Service Workshop, Parsons
Proud Europe

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