Taking It to the Street: Neighborhood As Interface
Civic tech, engaged artists, and makers are doing amazing things in their own silos, but what can happen when neighbors and creators step out of their spaces and collaborate? On a grassroots, neighborhood-by-neighborhood level, there’s great opportunity for civic technologists to collaborate with artists engaged in social practice, and for makers to prototype new products, interfaces, and experiences in urban spaces.
Our panel is a dialogue between these creators, exploring what can happen when civic-minded coders, artists, and makers work together. We’ll look at models like the Urban Prototyping festival, examples like SMS controlled holiday lights and DIY traffic counters, and discuss how to connect developers and artists for projects that reimagine their neighborhoods.
Emily builds projects that communicate, whether it’s putting a phone number on the trees outside her SF apartment for passersby to text in colors to light up it’s branches (her neighborhoods favorite color is purple, apparently) or building a database to visualize and call all the pay phones in San Francisco at once to see what’s happening across town. As a Code for America Fellow in 2012, her Austin team built an app to alert residents about dangerous weather conditions for wildfire with simple instructions via sms. Shes an Interaction Designer at Twilio.
San Francisco Mayor's Office Of Civic Innovation
Jake Levitas is an organizer and designer who helps cities use new tools and approaches to work better. He is currently an Innovation Fellow in the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Civic Innovation. Prior to his work with the City, he was Research Director at Gray Area Foundation for the Arts where he led civic hacking initiatives, including Urban Prototyping, Creative Currency, and Summer of Smart, and worked in the Planning Group at Arup where he built urban maps, resource models, and data visualizations.
Paul M. Davis tells stories online and off about the intersections between civic life, the arts, data, and technology. He founded the consultancy and experiment tank CLADE: Digital Storytelling for Social Good, and currently blogs about data science and society for Pivotal. His recent projects include documenting program impacts for Code for America, and prototyping an interactive storytelling map for Howlround, A Center for Theater Commons.
Paul previously served as the editor of Shareable Magazine, web content strategist and manager for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and wrote for publications including GOOD, Utne Reader, the AV Club, and the SF Weekly. He also performed as a member of Chicago's 2nd Story year-long live storytelling cycle.