Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rosedale: Brainstorming

Lance and I have done a lot of brainstorming for this project. We always go back to our question which is "how can graphic design help give the Rosedale district distinct boundaries and a greater sense of community pride?". We have focused a lot on the banners, because it seems to be the one thing that everyone goes to first. Every member of the Rosedale community has either hinted at or told us that they need new banners, or would at least like to see them. It is hard to really bridge away from this solution since it is wanted so badly from the community members. Lance and I have thought about the banners, and maybe making them participatory.

Maybe the kids draw the artwork? What if someone were to ask them to draw their vision of Rosedale, and that gets printed on the banners? They would then feel directly apart of the community, and they would have a semi-permanent mark within it. They would be proud, and would want to show it off to their family and friends.

What if the old banners were re-claimed and turned into handbags that are sold at a local market to promote grocery shopping? Or maybe the bags are sold at the church's to promote library usage, because it is good for holding educational material?

We also thought about points of positive interest within Rosedale being accentuated. For example, the fire hydrants are a positive thing. They could be painted by the kids, and this would be subtle, but powerful if you were to come across one.

The idea of stenciling seems very appealing as well, being it is affective and affordable. It also won't damage the surfaces if chalk or natural materials are used. The stencils could sustain many uses as well. These could say many different things such as factual information, or emotional snippets. For example, "the Rosedale farmer's market is from 12-3 on Sundays at the health center" or "visit us at for more information".

Lance and I have contacted Angel Dew who was the coordinator for the 42nd Street mural, and she believes strongly in the arts within Rosedale. She mentioned her want for a youth art center behind the mural, and this was of interest to both Lance and I. Although it might be better to consider for a degree project, we are going to keep this in mind.

The directional signs that are used in Rosedale could also be altered to give a sense of distinction. For example all of the signs that are in Rosedale could be a different color compared to Kansas Cities. This would be a simple change, but it could be just enough to mark Rosedale.

Lance and I also talked heavily about taking an old photograph of Rosedale and painting parts of it around the city. It would fit together like a puzzle, and could go on display in the park or something. Although, this idea was highly revolved around us and not necessarily the members of the community. We see this as a problem.

I will say that it is difficult to try and rule out the banners for the sake of good brainstorming, because we know that Rosedalians want new banners pretty badly. So, we are trying to brainstorm deeper into the idea of banners. How can the banners stem across other systems, and help out the community in a dual fashion?

1 comment:

thenewprogramme said...

hey mo, good thoughts here. the problem i have with the banners is that they are so "expected" as a proper solution for identifying the community. this is not necessarily a bad thing, although it isn't the most innovative solution, but maybe that's just the designer in me, always wanting something unexpected and new. people comment on the banners because it is something they know, and therefore they can respond to them. most people can't respond or suggest something they don't yet know about, if that makes sense. they can't envision new ideas easily like we can. so you will always get commentary about what currently exists.

the way you are thinking about the banners is good. the participatory ideas are good. it's also good that you keep going back to your original question. keep asking related questions about that -- what is going to connect you to your neighbor more strongly? what is going to give you a sense of being welcomed into your neighborhood, and is that different from what will make a school-aged child feel welcome? what are things in the community that the residents can feel proud about? your question asks about giving a sense of community pride, and that doesn't just come from nowhere. can they feel proud about their schools? their park? their gardens? maybe you should ask them about that.

your question is somewhat in two parts -- the boundary issue and the sense of pride issue. those don't necessarily have to result in two different solutions though. just pointing out that "two part" thing. is there a way to have a two-part solution, or can you do both things at once? can you mark boundaries in a way that capitalizes on their pride, or generates a sense of pride?