This thesis presents the hypothesis that we will see our surroundings in a new way and enjoy the encounter of our city through the work of designers, artists and local craftspeople. Designers can capture the essence of a community through mapping, photo essays, local branding campaigns, crafts and homemade goods. This thesis will explore the limitations of current place branding campaigns and explore how designers can better create/preserve community from the speed and consumption of globalization.
In addition to the above, the main research areas that I plan to explore (on the post-its above) are: representing the importance of place, embodied communication (conversation/story-telling), human-centered design, Guy Debord and the Situationists, derive, beauty in the mundane, experience design, John Thackara’s theory of localization, and how perception affects what we see.
The design problem is the lack of connection to the communities we live in. People feel isolation and anonymity due to globalization, the lure of online resources and the absence of a neighborly spirit. The target audience are children and teens with their parents (between ages 30-55) living in urban environments.