Our Gallery at One Market just set up twelve new exhibits that come under the heading of Design in the Public Interest. These exhibits feature products, places, and processes where design is used for common good instead of monetary profit. In a series of twelve blog articles over the next few weeks, I thought I would pick them off one at a time. So far I have covered half of them:
- See Better to Learn Better Exhibit
- Laboratory to Learn Exhibit
- Reclaiming Public Space Exhibit
- Making Sanitation Safe Exhibit
- A Platform Worth Spreading Exhibit
- A Building That Heals Exhibit
Our seventh one is Citizen-Powered Change.
- LinkedIn IDEO.org's Tim Brown: Must-See Public Interest Design
Code for America, dubbed "Peace Corps for geeks," embeds computer developers in city governments, where they work with officials to redesign cumbersome bureaucracies. The organization could not have been founded at a better time and is now helping to address huge budget shortfalls since the economic downturn in 2008. But Code for America Fellows are doing more than improving the DMV experience; they're inspiring citizens to get involved in small, but meaningful ways. Here's an example:
- Snowstorms often bury fire hydrants, endangering firefighters' capacity to respond in emergencies. Code for America fellows, recognizing this, created the Adopt-a-Hydrant app, through which local Bostonians can claim responsibility for clearing a particular hydrant. Better yet, if you dig it out, you get to name it. The first was called "Al" by the app's creator, Erik Michaels-Ober. If you neglect your hydrant, it can be "stolen" by other locals, creating a game out of this slice of civic life.
It quickly became evident that it wasn't just hydrants that needed attention. Here's a cold hard fact:
- State and local governments in the United States spend $2.5 trillion annually, but have experienced sharp budget declines since the 2008 economic downturn.
Honolulu is using the app to get citizens to adopt tsunami sirens. In Seattle, locals are adopting storm drains. In fact, nine cities are currently using this handy little app, intentionally designed to be open, free, and easy to customize for local needs. This is not your grandparents' government.
Thanks to Global Content Manager, Matthew Tierney, and Brand Marketing Manager, Grace Hom, for content contained in this blog article. This is just one of the many exhibits in the gallery at One Market in San Francisco. The gallery is open to the public on Wednesdays from 12 pm to 5 pm, and admission is free. Visit us.
Civic pride is alive in the lab.