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My reflection on how to select community co-designers

Last week, I met with the community non-profit leaders to discuss the high-level plan of the participatory capital pilot. As this plan takes shape, the next step is to invite the community co-designers. For this step, there were some questions we had to answer. How many people are appropriate, what type of people we are looking for, and how would we ultimately select the final team?

How many people should we have?

Before I talk about how we selected community co-designers, I want to talk about why we needed to ‘select’ people (which in a way, exclusive) when…

My initial investigation on participatory communities


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Enspiral structure expressed as concentric circle diagram

Enspiral is a non-hierarchical group of professionals who came together on the basis of shared values. One of my colleagues was part of the core group so I was able to learn more about how they operate. They have a core circle, made up of active members who are invited to join. The core circle holds the group together and sometimes makes operational decisions. Most of the decisions, however, happens with voting through digital platforms. …

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McKees Rocks and Stowe Township,

Brief notes and reflection from the team kickoff meetings

This week, I had two kickoff meetings meeting the community team and project support team. I was introduced to the team members and we talked about our overall goal and next steps.

Community Team meeting

In this meeting, I met with Scott and Ashley of New Sun Rising, and Denise and Taris who represent Sto-Rox non-profit organizations. I was excited to finally meet them in person and hear more about their role and mission around community-based design. Even though they did not use the term directly, in my mind, what they are doing is…

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How starting on the local community level design can change the larger system

When you are tackling a large complex problem such as financial inequity, it could be overwhelming where to even begin. Or vise versa, when you are working with a small town for community-based design, you could become myopic by the unique challenges of the individual participants.

It is easy to lose the forest for the trees. But then, how do I not lose the trees for the forest, either?

As a young designer, I am often distracted by larger system-scale problems (it is abstracted, therefore, fun to…

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How do I start a year-long, self-directed journey? How do I start my thesis?

Coming back from a challenging big tech internship, I am excited to be coming back to the world of academia this semester. To me, the world of academia means I can do what is best for the world and try my best to push the idea as far as I can. It means that I can fail as long as I stay innovative and motivated. But it also means I need to figure out what is best for the world which is a daunting task.

Thesis Topic: Community-based Design


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Photo by Lorena Samponi on Unsplash

Individual agreement for the semester & the notes from the readings from this week

Individual Agreement

  1. I will stay excited about unknowns. The class will talk about histories and the status quo as well as alternative ways of thinking, knowing, and designing. I will keep open-mind about what is new and different.
  2. Learning goal: I am here to learn about design research and process, and how to talk about it. Rather than an interesting thought exercise, this class is to help me with the thesis and beyond. Before and after each class, I will align our discussion with my learning goals.
  3. Speak…

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My takeaways from the 3-day Microsoft remote hackathon that changed me

I participated in the Microsoft hackathon this year as a design intern. I never thought it would change the whole course of my internship, but it did. It challenged me, motivated me, and made me feel like I could truly belong at a giant company such as Microsoft. I believe the hackathon is a must for any employee, especially interns. Here are some takeaways from my first hackathon experience-

  1. Seek a hackathon team that is diverse in skills, interests, and backgrounds. The Microsoft hackathon website is organized in a…

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A brief reflection on the Service Design Seminar course from Carnegie Mellon School of Design

As the semester come to a close, I am thankful to have a moment to reflect on the crazy semester we had. This semester, I took a Service design Seminar taught by Dr. Molly Steenson and Professor Daphne Peters which changed my perception of design fundamentally. Now, I believe that having the tools and points of view of a service designer would be beneficial to anyone who wants to be a professional designer.

The notion of ‘value exchange’ and how to evaluate it

A design could be fuzzy. If we want, we can stay in…

Today, we looked at Bruder Klaus Field Chapel, designed by Peter Zumthor as case study to validate the framework we are developing.

To recap, Yiwei started with a more in-depth framework of our initial discussion.

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Yiwei brought this to the meeting for us to look at.

After attempting to map the chapel case study on our own, we quickly found out that this was very limiting and the categories did not cover all the details of the architecture.

Diana Minji Chun

Carnegie Mellon School of Design, Pursuing Master of Interaction Design, Microsoft Product Designer

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