DESIGNING A THESIS: LANGUAGE, PLACES, LOVE, AND ALL THEIR TRACES

“Grown-ups love figures... When you tell them you’ve made a new friend they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies? “ Instead they demand “How old is he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make? “ Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.”
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Now that you've explored Civic View, I would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to my process of design. I am passionate about improving the policies that shape our communities, and I firmly believe that user-centered design practices are a necessary element to civic innovation. Furthermore, I believe in the power of data and I've been sorely frustrated by it's notable lack in the design community. 

Communities are more than the statistics that show us how many crimes have been committed, or where the potholes are. We all know this, but don't know how to capture and convey that deeper, emotional fabric. So for my last semester of graduate school, I've sought to demonstrate that design research can not only improve civic practices, but can guide us to create data that tells the story of a community through the eyes of its residents. 

Thank you for exploring this process with me.