Hi there!

I’m Romy - a designer, researcher and recent Harvard grad, dedicated to unlocking civic innovation, rethinking humane technology and experimenting with any new tool that comes my way. 



Find out more:
︎ Information
︎ Linkedin
︎ Resume









Currently researching / interested in:
︎ Collective intelligence
︎ Design Fiction
︎ Civic Futures
︎ Fixing Social Media

Favorite / recommended podcasts:
︎ Your Undivided Attention 
︎ Invisibilia 
︎ Recode Decode

Currently reading:
︎ Adverdarial Design
︎ Speculative Everything

Featured            UX Design            Code            WorldBuilding



PIXELS OF PARTICIPATION

MIT Senseable City Lab | 2020
Instructor: SCL Teaching Team
Individual Work
Duration: 1.5 month

Tools Used: Adobe Suite - Photoshop, XD, Illustrator

︎ Problem: Curitiba’s reputation of a great green city, with progressive urban planning has prevented proactive citizen participation for the improvement of their city.

︎ Solution:
A voting platform housed in a symbol of progressive planning, the public transit tube stops



Problem





“Portland of the southern hemisphere” - Cracks in the Curitiba Myth

“Laboratory for Urban Planning” - How radical ideas turned Curitiba into Brazil’s green capital

This project focuses on addressing the lack of civic participation in the city of Curitiba. By first interviewing residents, I understand what are the main causes for a lack of participation, in order to best solve for it.


How might we most effectively & widely provoke citizen participationin matters of their city?





Approach




01
Define
Background research
Interviews

02
Research
Iterations
03
Design
Final Design(personal, urban, technology)




Interviews




The lack of widely available means to express needs in the city has
created a sense of lack of belonging within Curitiba”  Priscilla, 43, Architect

Vandalism is essentially caused by citizens’ lack of participation” Felipe, 29, Student


“What is missing is a culture for everyone, even the least proactive, to participate
- there is participation, but it’s always the same people” Gabriella, 56, Government Worker




︎ Problem 1: Means of voting/participating are not widely available
︎ Problem 2: Always the same people voting/participating in OPPs.
︎ Solution: embeding voting within a public infrastructure, and provoke participation.





Iterations 





First iterations: physical voting cards that would be placed on the walls of the tube station.



To provoke participation, 5 different ideas were explored, in parallel interviews were conducted with first iterations.




Physical cards might reinforce vandalism” Julia, 29, Student

“Sponsoring ads might be a problem to some, that might imagine that
these private companies are benefiting from responses” Angelo, 35, Lawyer



Citizens view other people’s opinions, prompting them to respond, or think of their own opinion. They are also awarded: for every 10 votes, a free bus ticket. And as citizens give their opinion on a specific topic, they are also participating in creating art within the tube stops of the city.





Design

1. Regional vs city scale topics



Different topics can be addressed in each tube station, to tackle a city scale concern or a region-specific concern: from health, justice, citizenship, environment, family/justice, security, government, economy, education, relationships and more.



2. Personal Interactions





︎ Inside interaction: scan QR, respond, like, comment, make art
︎ Outside interaction: scan pixels, view responses, like






Visitors scan QR codes to give their opinion on subjects, that get posted on the tube wall - these become tokens that extend their participation into producing the art. They are able to take the token to another more prefered tube station to activate the pixels of the art.




Basic Mockup of first interactions in the tube stop








3. Urban Interactions


A mobile AR interface allows passersby to scan the view of the façade and read the responses from outside, expanding the reach of political opinion beyond the limits of the station.

4. Technology









An AI camera detects different age groups of voters. Additionally, a projector shows the QR codes, voter responses and the artwork. The outward facing layer is an LED screen that showcases the artwork of the artist in question and the pixels that pertain to the different demographics.



5. Data Collection




Eventually, the City of Curitiba is able to gauge and analyze voter sentiment towards specific topics, and ultimately better implement policies to respond to all.