Activate Open Engagement at the California College of the Arts (CCA), is an upper division design studio collaborating with the community partner Mission Neighborhood Resource Center (MNRC) in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood. MNRC is a non-profit organization providing resources in support of the physical, social, emotional and economic health of homeless residents in the 16th street corridor and surrounding Mission neighborhood.
Students investigated and proposed positive community experiences through interactive, participatory, built, and/or performance methods. From these explorations and engagement, CCA students built site specific creative place-making solutions that were co-created with our community partner, MNRC).
In the first six weeks of a 15-week course, CCA students gained skills and understanding community engagement, identity, ethics, cultural sensitivity and other related themes that rose from the present conditions of the community. During following eight weeks of the course, CCA students worked in teams to co-design with MNRC community and staff. The featured student project is a direct response to the community’s needs, guided by active listening and community collaborations. The student team’s engagement resulted in two murals, way-finding graphics and a prototype of the reception desk (to be constructed).
Client: Mission Neighborhood Resource Center (MNRC)
Tutors: Shalini Agrawal, Chris Treggiari
Students: : Xin Dominic Ding, Chunxu Janice Ma, Hye Sung Hayley Park, Kelly Mu Hsin Wu Community Partner: Vero Majano, Laura Guzman
Research Question:How does a creative practitioner place themselves in context with a community? How does an understanding (ours, community partner) of a community and its neighborhood influence the way we work with that community? How does a designer integrate cultural identities spatially? How do we bring warmth to the existing space to create a welcoming and home-like space for staff and community members?