Vibrant Cities,  

Temporary Exhibition at

The California Academy of Sciences

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HOW MIGHT WE...

CORE CAPABILITIES

Human-Centered Research & Design

ROLE

Co- Creative Director & Project Manager

PROCESS

Over two months, our 25 person Managerial Economics class performed distributed primary research as we interviewed homeless residents, social service providers, and diverse stakeholders in the bay area’s homeless epidemic. Our goal was to build empathy and understanding into this complex issue, and to share our findings through a California Academy of Science’s temporary exhibition.

 

As Creative Director, I collaborated on a 4 person leadership team to distill findings from countless stakeholders and interviewees, aiming to build empathy and hope for an often hopelessness-evoking cause. Iterating together, we designed and prototyped our call-to-action themed design to assure feasibility and impact within a tight installation schedule. As Project Manager, I delegated workloads across our 25 person class, designed a detailed build-schedule, oversaw installation and public engagement, and built awareness for the St. Francis Homelessness Challenge.

As part of a California Academy of Science’s Nightlife event, a team of 25 installed a temporary exhibition exploring the homlessness crisis in San Francisco. Building an economic case for transitional housing investment, the exhibition included an infographic informing attendees on the city’s shelter shortage of roughly 4,000 beds. It explained St. Francis Challenge’s housing concept, low-cost pre-fab homes that could be leased on private and public land. The exhibit also solicited donations, with 3:1 matching from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Finally, it asked attendees to fill out a pre-addressed postcard to Mayor Ed Lee to take action on homelessness, which were mailed to the office of the mayor.

KEY INSIGHTS

  • Homeless Resident Insight: Aggressive treatment by city officials and lack-of acknowledgment by city residents has led to distrust of the unknown

  • City Resident Insight: Discomfort with the homelessness crisis has led to eroded empathy and inaccurate, unvalidated assumptions about the plight of the homeless

  • All residents have developed a pervasive sense of hopelessness that this issue cannot and will not be resolved

...break down a complex societal challenge while building empathy and support for the underserved homeless population in San Francisco?

Project & Event

Management

Narratives &

Visual Storytelling

OUTCOME

Our impactful, yet approachable design displayed an empathy-driven overarching message: bright postcards boldly asked museum attendees to take action. The one-night exhibit raised $1,000 to fund a pilot unit for St. Francis Homelessness Challenge and resulted in 200+ postcards sent to the mayor, requesting action at a city level.