THIEN LE
DESIGN
PLAY
INFO








Imagined Futures is a tool to connect people
living in the same city and give them a medium to share their experiences and create more equitable futures for the city.


Duration


8 weeks

Team


Solo

Tools


Figma
Illustrator
Photoshop



Problem


We live in an era of hyper-mobility, marked by the mass movement of people virtually, trans-locally and globally. Many systems are increasingly designed around fixity, separation and invisible borders. I wanted to know the extent to which city planning and invisible borders affect situations of inequality and how to design an intervention for this.


Solution


Using Houston as an example, I designed cards and a mobile app with the hopes of education and connection. These cards are designed to evoke conversation between people and provide information about areas of Houston. The idea is to aid conversations about each person’s experience living in the city in regards to topics such as movement, cultural experiences, or development. In addition, there is a QR code in which users can scan on the mobile app to learn about how to create a more equitable future.



Scan QR Code

Users scan a QR code on the conversation cards and are prompted with a question asking how they would design a future that is more equitable.


Choose Intervention

Examples of interventions under each category.


Get Information

Quick videos that are accessible, explaining the concept creates a more enjoyable experience.


Connect with Community

Goal of event is targeted, allowing users to know that this is beneficial and worth their time.


Hear touching Stories

Stories of people who personally experience this problem creates a feeling of urgency and authenticity.








Card Design


These cards are designed to evoke conversation between people and provide information about areas of their city. The idea is to aid conversations about each person’s experience living in the city in regards to topics such as movement, cultural experiences, or development. The QR code on the card facilitates the transition to the digital app. 






















Process

01: Research Mapping


To understand the scope of the research area and to define a design intervention, I created a map that detailed research findings. From here, I was able to define a possible equity pathway and design a solution for it.

02: User Research


After conducting research on the problem area, I created a participatory diagram to identify the intervention that could be designed to address the problem of not having a shared identity or connection when living in cities.

03: Prototyping


The pathway lends itself to having physical and digital components because the purpose of the cards is to get people to share their lived experiences with those that they know — new or old  — and have information that is accessible to them through an app.











Research Insights



Not being knowledgeable about social issues leads people to not be actively engaged in their community.


International like borders created in Houston and the formation of enclaves has caused the city to be disconnected in numerous ways. Infrastructures, opportunities, and resources are not distributed equitably. In the solution, users are exposed to quick videos that are accessible, explaining the concept.


Active discussions about social issues is a way for people to be engaged in their communities.


People create or move to ethnic enclaves because they do not have to get acquitted with the traditions of the host country, such as language, as quickly which can have positive and negative effects on them and the city. Community events that pertain to the issue are all simply on one screen, avoiding long searches on Google.


People have issues in the cities they lived in and want to see it be improved.


When creating change, individuals can have difficulty imagining new realities because systems designed have been in place for such long periods. Exposing users to stories of people who personally experience this problem creates a feeling of urgency and authenticity. Giving people the power to envision a new future can begin to create systemic change.







Project Takeaways


Simple and clean interface.


When creating change, individuals can have difficulty imagining new realities because systems designed have been in place for so long. Exposing users to stories of people who personally experience this problem creates a feeling of urgency and authenticity. Giving people the power to envision a new future can begin to start systemic change.


© THIEN LE