In addition to completing the Process Lab proposal at The Cooper Hewitt Museum, we were instructed to visit the By The People: Designing a Better America Exhibit and identify an empowering or effective system as well as a disempowering or ineffective system.
Empowering System: TEXT4BABY
TEXT4BABY is an accurate representation of a project resulting from an empowering and effective system. What empresses me the most is the awareness of it’s target audiences necessities and limitations. In other words, low income families need for information on pregnancy and childcare while having limited access to multiple resources they require, such as the internet. I appreciate the use of SMS, as the platform for communication of information, in order to overcome the issue of accessibility that apps have because they require data or and internet connection. Moreover, implementing subway posters in multiple languages reinforces their concern for accessibility and awareness of this service.
Ineffective System: Underpass Park
While the Underpass Park has been completed since 2012 and does have a meaningful intention, I don’t believe that it successfully fulfills the purpose of bridging the Don Lands committees. Proud to call Toronto home, I was pleasantly surprised that I had yet to hear about this Park until this project. Initially I thought this was a proposal for a potential development. However upon further research, I realised that this project was underway right around the time the city decided to take aggressive steps toward gentrifying the Regent Park and Don Lands neighbourhoods, essentially pushing out low income families and immigrant communities. For this reason I do not believe that the cities intention of bridging communities were achieved in this project given the transitional quality of reforming Toronto’s urban planning and government subsidized housing.