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A Parliament of Neighbors

Posted on:May 14, 2023 at 04:00 AM

I’d been thinking a lot about what it means to be a neighbor. My exhibition, as part of Chimaera was meant to be the start of a provocation to ask us what it would look to reimagine governance. I chose the “Parliament” framing intentionally. So much of American politics is heavily focused on a “winner-take-all” instead of the sorts of consensus — and yes, gridlock — that we see in more deliberative formats in other countries. Applying these ideas to local governance, where some concepts have been tested and thoughts of, was intriguing to me. Beyond just thinking about governance, I’m probing at how we engage with each other and what our responsibilites are to each other.

My talk & a collaborative space that’s online for my presentation is available online for viewing and participation.

I mostly tried to wrestling with some fairly big ideas around policy, the ways neighborhoods are constructed, boundaries and inclusion. I’m still really interrogating my own thinking about these ideas, but I appreciated having a timeboxed and public space to process these ideas and to give others things to think about. The prompts about reinvention and world-building really resonated with me, as I think we often think about these topics as sci-fi concepts and to bring them to our streets felt really timely.

It’s probably the 2nd part of a series of real-world presentations I designed in the past year, starting with an event at Portland Design Festival in October 2022. Having spent years talking about abstract ideas and more in-the-weeds forms of design, it’s been nice to start zooming beyond the pixels and starting thinking more practically about how the world works, how (interaction) designers engage with it and whether “user experience” or “service design” have a place in it.