method guide: informing

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[bc] Method Guides detail the six methods that buildingcommunityWORKSHOP uses to describe our work; activating, analyzing, informing, making, mapping, & storytelling. These guides are an informing tool that shares why each of these ways of working is vital to project success at [bc].

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  • ACTIVATING ANALYZING INFORMING MAKING MAPPING STORYTELLING www.bcWORKSHOP.org

    INFORMING PRINCIPLES Presents our voice as an experts in the areas that we work

    and topics relevant in the geographies that we work. Shares important data, research, and tools to help support

    neighborhood based work. Connects our work to others engaged in similar projects

    across the country and world.

    Informing shares the tools and methods we use with others allowing both professionals and community members to apply thoughtful design to the challenges that affect their lives and communities. Through a variety of platforms including workshops, conferences, seminars, events, and media, we can empower others to make a difference. We also inform around specific topics of importance in the geographies that we work - using installation, graphic design, conversation, and participatory activities we share knowledge about specific subjects. We also provide similar services and technical assistance to partners to allow them to better communicate

    WHAT IS INFORMING?

    INFORMING BUILDS KNOWLEDGE

    5750 used infographics and public installations to inform the citizens of Dallas and raise awareness about the issue of homelessness.

    INFOGRAPHICSDATAINSTALL

    STORMWATERCOLONIAMANAGE

    STATISTICSCONTACTSHAREDIRECTORY

    METHODSWORKSTORIESISSUES

    GUIDESTOOLSPEOPLEPLACE

    Informing finds venues to share our projects and elevate issues that we feel are important to the communities we work with. This can present the results and impacts of ongoing projects, taking the form of research publications, presentations, advocacy, and design. Informing can be the start of a project, raising awareness and generating support or it can extend the impact of a project beyond official completion to influence future projects or others working on similar issues.

    5750 installation at Dealey Plaza

    Community members learning about flooding

    ANALYZINGACTIVATING

    INFORMINGMAKING

    STORYTELLINGMAPPINGMETHOD GUIDE

    Colonia Planning & Implementation seeks to inform colonia residents and government officials about stormwater management strategies, regional and local stormwater challenges, and opportunities to design improvements though LID.

    The Neighborhood Directory shares the vital statistics about Dallas neighborhoods and contact information for existing community groups.

    Conferences allow [bc] to share our work and methods with a variety of professional and community audiences, raising awareness of what we do and helping others take on issues of importance in their cities and neighborhoods.

    POP Project Guides inform community members and professionals of how we use different tools/projects to meet specific needs with their neighborhoods.

  • ACTIVATING ANALYZING INFORMING MAKING MAPPING STORYTELLING www.bcWORKSHOP.org

    bcSHOPFRONT

    RAPIDO TOURS

    BUILDING COMMUNITY HEROES

    Shopfront invites speakers to share information about their work and research, broadening knowledge about Public Interest Design and a range of city building issues. To make these accessible to the public [bc] opens its offices to create a venue and chance for participation across a wide spectrum of ideas.

    HOW IS INFORMING DONE?

    bcHEROES shares locally nominated community heroes that make our cities what they are and raising awareness about important issues being tackled by citizens around Texas. Completed to coincide with Martin Luther King Jr. Day each year the bcHEROES baseball card series celebrates a wide range of pioneers, advocates, and everyday community members that make a difference in our lives.

    After the construction of the Rapido homes the team shares the outcomes and recommendations of the pilot program with decision makers and interested parties by bringing them to tour the RAPIDO prototypes and presenting the project.

    Touring the RAPIDO Core

    Maurice Cox presenting at bcSHOPFRONT

    2016 buildingcommunityHEROES cards

    SHARING KNOWLEDGE

    CELEBRATING PEOPLE

    ON THE GROUND EXPERIENCE

    Presents a wide range of design and research to the public. Invites prominent practitioners to share best practices. Opportunity for [bc] staff and fellows to present research

    and gain experience in public speaking.

    Using popular culture and graphic design to celebrate and inform about community heroes.

    Participating in a wider program to celebrate service to communities.

    Share information across geographies where we work.

    The importance of learning about a project, while experiencing it on the ground.

    Project team can influence wider conversations about an issue.

    Using design and physical construction to influence policy.

  • ACTIVATING ANALYZING INFORMING MAKING MAPPING STORYTELLING www.bcWORKSHOP.org

    EQUITY IN POLICY

    Land Use Colonia Housing Action [LUCHA], a partnership of organizations and colonia representatntes, seeks to build capacity among residents to identify neighborhood challenges, analyze problems, and begin to develop and advocate for solutions. Through months of training/education and discussions, with support from local and regional experts, residents are informed about governance, drainage, public services, housing, planning, and development, in order to identify neighborhood challenges, and develop and advocate for solutions.

    This informing effort seeks to give residents the tools that they need to engage in infrastructure and long-range planning efforts at the local and state level. In areas that have in some cases never had the most basic living necessities, such as potable water and sewer systems, electricity, paved roads, and safe and sanitary housing, informing residents of the ways they can advocate for their needs across such a wide variety of issues is incredibly important. It requires not only specific knowledge on an issue, but an organizing structure and materials to train others to amplify local voices.

    LUCHA training

    LUCHA representatives informing residents and identifying drainage issues

    THE LUCHA PROCESS

    COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT through community trainings & public hearings

    colonia residents helped identify priorities

    a partnership was formed between communities, designers, organizers, builders, & legal advocates

    LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT build colonias residents capacity to advocate for &

    implement projects

    DEVELOPMENT OF STRATEGIES mapping of the topics identified specific issues &

    locations within colonias

    identifying & gathering local/regional/ national experts to inform residents

    development of resident organizing strategies to advocate for their priorities

    MODEL COMMUNITY PLANS CREATED plans highlighted the need for increasing residents

    power within organizing efforts

    five topics - governance, housing, public services, drainage, & planning become the focus

    CELEBRATING EQUITY BY BUILDING KNOWLEDGE & GRASSROOTS LEADERS

    continuing to refine and implement topics of model plans through a priority list

    develop tools for colonia residents to continue to organize for future projects

  • Informing shares the impact of the work that we do and the data that justifies it. It allows us to learn from others in the field, share best practices, celebrate our successes, and learn from our failures. This process gives our projects and programs the ability to interact across geographies and evolve through critique and testing by others. Outside of project work, informing centers on awareness raising around specific issues from homelessness to food insecurity to storm water planning. Informing expresses what is important to us as professionals and an organization. It is not a process of selling an idea or project, but sharing work, ideas, and data.

    WHY IS INFORMING IMPORTANT?

    WHAT ARE THE OUTCOMES?

    WHY SHOULD YOU INFORM?

    The act of informing moves the impact of projects beyond the neighborhoods and communities where they take place. It can result in publication, awards and recognition, and most importantly learning about successful practices, potential pitfalls, and ways to improve our work with communities. Informing is a key part of the process of refining, expanding, and transforming practice because it allows for constructive and critical feedback. It should be done for a specific purpose, making your and the professions future work better.

    Informing shares passions, new discoveries, and lifelong pursuits in strategic and focused ways. It can be a path to new opportunities and partnerships, because in its best form informing inspires others to do their own work to better our cities and neighborhoods. With this comes the acknowledgement that when we inform the information we present should be based on data, observations, and the recorded impacts of our work.

    David Perkes presenting at bcSHOPFRONT

    Wanda Dye presenting at the bcSHOPFRONT Design Sketch night

    Learning about the benefits of active transportation

    ACTIVATING ANALYZING INFORMING MAKING MAPPING STORYTELLING www.bcWORKSHOP.org/informing

    The buildingcommunityWORKSHOP is a Texas based nonprofit community design center seeking to improve the livability and viability of communities through the practice of thoughtful design and making. We enrich the lives of citizens by bringing design thinking to areas of our cities where resources are most scarce. To do so, [bc] recognizes that it must first understand the social, economic, and environmental issues facing a community before beginning work.

    Thank you to all of our partners and the funders of the projects detailed in this guide. Most impo