Launched last week with a large and energetic gathering at the Logan Square office of George and Sara Aye, the founders of a design agency focused on social change called Greater Good Studio, Designing Chicago is a "a testing ground" for changing "the way citizens and designers engage in civic government," writes Campbell-Dollaghan.
"'Chicago is a hotbed of civic tech,' explains George, who spent seven years at Ideo before taking a job as lead designer at the Chicago Transit Authority. 'We've got an amazing system, real-time data, and an active tech community. All we needed to do was put it all together.'"
If Designing Chicago gets funded, George and Sara plan to organize their supporters into teams of "Scouts", responsible for gathering ideas and information and "Icons," who "will analyze the data generated by Scouts and work closely with the designers to develop the app itself."
"It's an unusual proposal," notes Campbell-Dollaghan, "but the Ayes explain that rather than being an epic design-by-committee nightmare, they're inventing new frameworks for citizens to contribute. 'We're trying to develop a more nuanced way to engage the public, in scripted, tailored, teacherly ways.'"