10/24 — Intelligent Systems, Project Kickoff

Today we kicked off our second project for this semester. Working in a team Irene, Manjari, Nurie and me have to propose a design, that “can change/improve people’s experience in the city of Pittsburgh in meaningful way.” A crucial aspect of this project is to engage with people of Pittsburgh to meet with people and go to places in Pittsburgh and make change through your design.

Early Thoughts

We started our conversation by discussing everyday observations. We talked about:

  • Cycling in the city- Cycling in pittsburgh is a common affair to get to the workplace or to college. People jogging anytime on the streets(even in night)- We are intrigued by the fact that people are jogging all the time in streets of Pittsburgh.One probable area to think about could be delve deeper in this hobby and explore possible problems that can be addressed around the act of jogging in the city.
Challenges- What are day to day challenges these people face in the city? What mediums can we propose to relieve and facilitate these activities?

Social gentrification caused by recent developments(especially migration of tech companies towards city center)- Over past couple of years, bunch of large companies have migrated to the city of Pittsburgh, especially research cells of companies like Google, Uber, Apple, Disney, Philips, etc. Entering of such companies around the center of Pittsburgh has exerted pressure on the local communities which has inhabited the city for generations. The increasing real estate value and services for the new working community have led to Social Gentrification. The downtown and areas around it are like a Microcosm while enjoys attention at highest levels whereas areas in close vicinity like Braddock have turned into ghost-towns.

Challenges- How can we bridge the social rift and bring the seggregated sects of city together with Design?
  • Bus Transit system of Pittsburgh offers excessive service to certain areas while neglecting some. Neighborhoods like Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Oakland and Downtown enjoy frequent services whereas areas further North and South lack the same frequency.
Challenges- How can design engage the transportation system to reach more evenly throughout the city?

Initiated with these concerns we started looking for inspirations on the lines of Social Inclusion, Bridging Communities, initiatives towards making cities smart.

SHARING FACES found at https://vimeo.com/96549043
Coca-Cola Small World Machines — Bringing India & Pakistan Together found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts_4vOUDImE
Hear Me: turning up the volume on kids’ voices found at https://vimeo.com/97282960
On a scavenger hunt in Pittsburgh, courtesy Nurie Jeong
IBM & Ogilvy France Create Ads With A New Purpose in its latest “People For Smarter Cities” found at https://vimeo.com/67570047

Other Resources:

  1. https://www.sidewalklabs.com/
  2. https://www.link.nyc/
  3. http://www.urbandatadesign.org/2011/10/20/smarter-chinatown-tourism-nyc-2011/