Chicago Crowdsources a Superior Transit App

Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan discusses the launch of Designing Chicago, an "unusual" Kickstarter campaign intended to utilize the brains and wallets of the city's residents to create an app covering the city’s various systems of public transportation.

July 19, 2012, 1:00 PM PDT

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj


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.'"

Thursday, July 19, 2012 in Fast Company Co.Design

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