In spring 2016 I was doing a researcher exchange in New York City at Parsons School of Design. During that time I had a privilege of working with a small youth group in Brownsville, a neighborhood in East Brooklyn. Brownsville is considered to be one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in New York City with high crime rates a large number of public housing projects which provide rental housing for low income community members. This all makes the environment very challenging for the young people and many of them have contact with the justice system while growing up. Brownsville Community Justice Center (BCJC) is a public organization that works with young people who come into contact with the justice system and provides them for example social and health services as well as education. I was involved in one of the courses at BCJC focusing on media and design skills. I worked with the course participants to experiment the use of audio tools in storytelling and in the ideation process in order to make a change in their own surroundings.

The outcome from the project was three short audio stories that describe the experiences of the participants. Using these stories as a starting point, the group ideated how the neighborhood could be changed through a design of a public space. The ideation started by thinking how the space would sound like, what would be the activities people could do there, and in the end, how the space could look like if those functions would be implemented.

Find the rest of the audio stories from the Youtube channel of HumanSee project.

Titta Jylkäs


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