SJH Design Proposal

It’s 9 am, the morning this proposal is due, and I have nothing. As it turns out, thinking really hard about something for 7 days is not a magic technique that ejects a creative, justified idea on the last day. I want to acknowledge my failure, because I think it is important to see where I failed this week. I had trouble being assertive, I talked to people associated with the hub, but no one who claimed authority. I also needed to have been proactive. I used a research method (hanging around, listening, trying to interview people in the space) that we had all kind of tried, and were unsuccessful with, for the past few weeks. To have broken that pattern, I should have contacted more people towards the beginning of the week, arranging to meet. So I still don’t know enough about the space, and the people using it. And that’s the reality. This week is a new week, and I will attempt to overcome my shyness, my discomfort with this specific project, going forward. I will email Gail Drakes and ask her who the co-chairs of the hub are, and then I will email those students in an attempt to schedule an interview. Then I might know enough. Below, I will share the ideas that I did have this week, lurking around the 5th floor, trying to eavesdrop on potentially relevant conversations. But looking at the design justice framework, these ideas are still coming directly from ME, and not the intended audience of the social justice club. When I asked you last week if we could “mess up,” maybe I knew that I was thinking of myself.

1) Fundraising and Unifying Clothes Swap

This idea centers around the idea that the hub isn’t fulfilling the original vision of being “intersectional.” Sure, groups of all kinds meet ‘through’ the hub, but they are all disparate. This clothes swap event would unify all of the different groups, because they would all take on different, intersecting roles running the event. A clothes swap a really powerful symbol of community and support, because giving your old clothes to someone within your community creates a physical tie to someone who you might not know, or who might be very different from you. The swap would either be for hub members only, or it would be open to the whole school, and then you could charge people $5 and raise money for the hub (good because the hub ins’t funded through TNS), while introducing the hub to students who are not yet informed about it (good because there is a visibility issue in the hub).

Who would engage with this project? The members of the groups that meet weekly in the SJH. They would engage with it, I guess, by deciding to execute the event I have “designed?” Ideally, I would work with the hub students, facilitating the event from beginning to end, but I think that this project finishes next week. So I don’t know if this idea fits into the assignment and restrictions of time for the class.

2) My second idea is to rearrange/decorate the lounge area of the SJH. But where this idea lacks is, would it really be empowering my “intended audience?” Because if the kids hanging out there are fashion students who couldn’t find room to sit somewhere else, then this system would effect them more than it would the members/potential members of the SJH.

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