Join us to participate in the upcoming 2019 City:One Challenge. 

Detroit Digital Design Thinking Studio Hub

The historic Michigan Central Station Community requires an organic, adaptive process creating Human Centered, Transitional Design values.

Photo of Monica Williams
3 1

Written by

We propose to create a Detroit Digital Design Thinking Studio Hub that will facilitate through inquiry and discovery via direct interactive experiential engagement (see User Journey Map Design Charrettes), the possible future states and/or new knowledge of mobility as imagined by the “residents, workers and visitors of the Michigan Central Station Impact Area” thereby providing user insights that enlighten those tasked with the creation of future mobility products and processes. Additional methodologies represented through Design Thinking and Transition Design may hold and/or unlock unforeseen innovations that remain masked across traditional boundaries and silos. A relatively new body of work known as Innovation Districts may also provide additional insights, processes and practices that elevate and inform our understanding. The book Design, When Everybody Designs (An Introduction to Design for Social Innovation) by Ezio Manzini, depicts an amazing discovery regarding expertise and the rise of the rest of us as experts. (See picture) We believe this codifies our practice in that everyone can become a Designer.

How will your solution benefit residents, workers, or visitors in the Michigan Central Station impact area? (1,000 characters)

By using our Design Charrette inquiry process participants (residents, workers, visitors) in the impact area will contribute their thoughts, insights and ideas in a real-time collaboration. Our solution also creates a digital platform for robust "social infrastructure" planning and will be available for access by schools, libraries, churches, community organizations, etc. thereby increasing its productivity and scalability. Our solution is an open source process and a bit of "combinatorial creativity," Design and Systems Thinking, Project-Based Learning and the emergent field of Transition Design. We use simple Vision and Gameplan graphical organizers (Grove) for structure, while incorporating insights from researched, interconnected, divergent fields of study. The human process of adapting to and learning new ways of being that prepare us for the future is complex, however our process is not complicated, but rather intuitive. (Young people are very good at this!)

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Pilot - you have implemented your solution in a real-world scenario

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

Over the last decade we pilot-tested our process in various Southeast Michigan K-12 education systems (analog and digital) in addition to facilitating the Michigan STEM Partnership statewide initiative rollout. Recently we applied our process to facilitate 3 SMART Bus Transportation Summits to re-establish the Pontiac Community Partnership Program (successful!) and orchestrated 2 Design Charrettes to prevent demolition of the community favored Phoenix Center. The COMMUNITY is the EXPERT!

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Over the last decade we pilot-tested our process in various Southeast Michigan K-12 education systems (analog and digital) in addition to facilitating the Michigan STEM Partnership statewide initiative rollout. Recently we applied our process to facilitate 3 SMART Bus Transportation Summits to re-establish the Pontiac Community Partnership Program (successful!). And orchestrated 2 Design Charrettes to prevent demolition of the community favored Phoenix Center. The COMMUNITY is the EXPERT!

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Team or Organization URL

Jim Ross, Co-Director / Designer Pontiac Holonomy Incubator / PHIN-CO L3C http://phinco.org/background Monica Williams, Co-Director / Designer Pontiac Holonomy Incubator / PHIN-CO L3C http://phinco.org/monica

Are you submitting as a student team?

  • No

Are you submitting as a team from the Impact Area?

  • No

Funding Request

  • $50,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

Total: $50,000 Microsoft Surface Hub 2: $10,000 Microsoft Studio Computer: $5,000 Microsoft Surface Pros (3): $3,000 Software, Support & Internet: $5,000 (Microsoft Store, Somerset is committed to partner in this execution) Space (1 year, 2,000 sq. ft) @ $10,000 Design Office Furniture & Biophilia: $8,000 Miscellaneous: $9,000 Staff & Support: In Kind Contribution of $200,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

We would seek studio space within the Michigan Central Station. We would deploy our configuration of design office furniture and biophilia to create an environment that is restive, but dynamic while also encouraging movement of body and mind in pursuit of New Knowledge. We will add an organic mix of graphical organizing charts (sticky notes and markers) and a technological array of Microsoft Surface Hubs, Studios and Pros facilitated by high-speed fiber optic internet which will provide mixed-use opportunities throughout the multi-faceted studio space. We will immediately invite and host next-neighbor workers for informal conversations to search out self-organizing contextual elements that bind intention with imagination. (This is inquiry discovery in search of organic traction). Armed with newfound collaborators we will explore community impact area opportunities and determine objectives, fits, outreach strategies, and implementation executions. Next stop, the EXPERTS! Voila!

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

We will measure the success of our pilot by the level of engagement of our co-creators (co-workers and community members) and the resultant outcomes envisioned & implemented at MCS and the various community impact areas. (Replicate) Additionally, if we successfully scale this across schools, libraries and community organizations, etc. we will have accomplished untold magnitudes of order toward the development of a connected innovation ecosystem capable of self-organizing replication. (Lest we forget this is the age of AI.) Another measurement instrument will be reflected in our ability to influence and partner with the philanthropic sector to address societal issues e.g. recent research regarding stress and trauma in distressed communities and the resultant application of resilience strategies. This in combination with new mobility strategies could produce a force multiplier effect toward McLuhan's 3rd attribute of innovation, restoring something to us we feel was lost.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

Value Creation is a new model of Economic Development that exceeds traditional Value Extraction. In other words, think of it as something you must have vs. something you did have. (Would you get rid of your internet and/or phone?) We believe the MCS project would attract additional Philanthropic Sector and Opportunity Zones funding and investment based on our community outreach and engagement orchestration. This is currently the most misunderstood element of Opportunity Zones funding.

Social Media

Instagram: @holonomyincubator Facebook: @pontiacholonomyincubator Twitter: @phin_co

3 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Boratha Tan
Team

Hi Monica Williams Thanks for submitting! I am part of the City:One facilitation team. I was wondering what your plans are for the short term. The MCS is not open for another few years, so what would your plans be to introduce design thinking to the impact zone?

Photo of Monica Williams
Team

Hi Boratha Tan - Thanks for the insight! Just need some space, like-minded folks, an internet connection and we're off to the races :-) Will continue to ponder, sift and winnow...

Photo of Monica Williams
Team

Additional pondering: in lieu of face to face space, here is a digital interface to begin collecting and sharing thoughts, ideas, insights, etc. Boratha Tan - Let us know your thoughts, thanks!

Link to Mobility Practicum Mural:
https://app.mural.co/t/digitallearning3795/m/digitallearning3795/1572542664005/b06f6e6b36a663ff0fdb0133041e47a7ce236451