Week 13:        Research For/By Design, P4 : Prototype…

This is the fourth week of a 5 week collaborative group project.

Team 4: Dejarelle Gaines, Jackie Sabillon Pinto, Michelle Lee and me…

Goal: Prototype a solution by synthesizing multiple features across earlier concepts, take on of them to develop and refine further, or extend one of them in a slightly different or new direction. Present your prototype with a 10 minute presentation.

Solution #2:

The solution we chose to prototype, touching one aspect of the issue on police brutality is a systems solution.  One that focuses on law enforcement and community engagement with positive reward incentives. Meeting in a safe space where the community comprised of residents and local businesses, and law enforcement employees (civilian and officers) can start to build trust, understanding, and mutual respect. The safe, inclusive  and essential space is the neighborhood community outreach center which is the bridge towards positive engagement.

Campaign Bridge

The Campaign Bridge NYC is born.  Through Dejarelle’s research, we found the NYPD Reform & Reinvention Collaborative and chose to build on it’s principles reimagining the place of engagement.   I started researching community centers and found the NYPD Community Center in East New York, Brooklyn,  in a building that once use to be a courthouse. And thought… we can do better.  We divided the work.

Michelle focused on creating the logos and social media features,  Dejarelle on building better, off the existing model  and Jackie creating the campaign ads that would be use at the community center, the precinct, and local businesses to spread the word.

A Model Community Outreach Center.

In addition to researching contemporary community center designs in the US, I also examined centers in NYC.  In an urban environment, it is not always feasible or possible to build a new community center from the ground up, but to instead renovate an existing structure. Whether it’s a new structure or a renovation, it is essential that the design of the public building is warm, open, and inviting with welcoming meeting spaces, technologically advanced learning spaces, team building play spaces,  lively socializing spaces,  quite contemplation spaces and organic green spaces.

Below a few community centers in NYC:


NYPD Community Center, East New York

New York City Housing Authority Polo Grounds Community Center, Harlem

Westbridge Community Center, Staten Island

East Stanley Commoms Development and Community Center, East New York

Chestnut Commons, East New York. Proposed design by Dattner Architects

The Campaign: Bridge Community Outreach Center.

Proposed location: 160 East 125th Street @ Lexington Avenue.

In May 2020,  Extell Development submitted plans to build a 9 story mixed use building. We are proposing that our  Campaign  Bridge Community Center or one similar, would greatly benefit the neighborhood in that complex.

My goal was to create a space that people would, not only enjoy being in,  but would eagerly want to return to when they could.  A space that was modular, multi-use, open and flexible to the needs of the user.  And most important for urban environments… connecting the space to nature in some way.    Also the building should be LEEDS-certified.

I modelled and rendered the design and animation in Vectorworks 2021.  I attempted to create a mixed media video in AfterEffect, but found that the file for a 1 minute animation was near 3Gb and when I brought it down to a more manageable size it pixelated the Vectorworks animation.



It’s interesting to look  back at this process. The solution we decided to prototype was not even in my purview on week one.  However, it seems the issue we selected needs to be resolved. And to solve this issue people need to recognize that it exists… every day whether through social media, the news, radio or in print.

I learned that when dealing with the messy problems there is no one way in or out. The issue has to be approached from multiple fronts.  Starting at the local level… from the ground up,  and laws and lesgistations… from  top down,  meet in the middle to bridge the gap.  A ‘good’ idea is only as good as the reach it has. Our future propositions need to be grounded on some principle based on primary and secondary research, and ideas will evolve hence forth. To help keep focus on our purpose we create a primary persona and secondary personas, and ask, “Does the solution suit them?”.