REV/BIC: Site Visit

A bit late, but a visit well worth the wait: on Wednesday of last week the REV/BIC team came together at the Brazilian Immigrant Center located across the river in Allston.  At around 6PM, the members of our team started to trickle into the second floor of BIC.  We, the MIT team, got to meet our Northeastern NuLawLab counterparts for the first time, and they even brought us pizza!  It was clear that they were all just as excited to be a part of this project as we were.

After some introductions from each of our members, we got right to work with presentations from REV and BIC.  REV presented previous and current work, including Nanny Van and El Bibliobandido, both of which served as inspiration for how the careful intertwining of art, technology, design, and social change can lead to incredible success.  Natalicia Tracy, executive director of BIC, followed, and she explained to us how BIC arrived at its involvement in the Massachusetts movement for domestic worker rights.

Naturally, after so much inspiration, the team had many questions.  We decided to write them all down on post-it notes, and place them on a wall :

- Are we working on one project? Or several related projects?

- What are the most immediate steps to make?

- How do NuLawLab/MIT/domestic workers play a role in the design progress?

- Where is there the most room for creativity?

While going through each question, we were able to clarify our goals both in concrete product form and in an idealogical sense.

As a collaboration we wanted to mimic the success of domestic worker hotline in New York, which created characters and used voice recordings to educate workers on their new rights.   The process in New York went a little like this:

In a /very/ simplified nutshell

In a /very/ simplified nutshell

Domestic workers (DWs) worked with REV to create “episodes” based on the new Bill of Rights (B.O.R.).  After some collaborative and iterative redacting, the audio pieces were recorded and the logic tree for the hotline was designed.  At MIT, the technology was finally implemented into a hotline!

As a collaborative group we wanted to work on a similar product that would work towards a few main goals:

  • advancing domestic worker health and safety by both gathering and providing relevant information
  • engourage base-building and membership mobilizing
  • creating a detailed and malleable framework capable of producing and sustaining future projects elsewhere in the country
  • to galvanize new audiences and accelerate the growing movement for workers’ rights in MA and elsewhere

Among the ideas thrown around during this meeting were:

  1. A Boston-based hotline that would help to spread safety information given to BIC by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
  2. A “Guide to Culturally-Relevant Spread of Information”
  3. Video clips to accompany OSHA safety guidelines
  4. An interactive SMS component

Of course, time did not let us fully develop each idea but I’m sure that with such a diverse group, they will solidify, consolidate, and strengthen organically over the coming weeks!

DA Questionnaire

If anyone has suggestions, questions or general comments, please reply!

Week 4 in Codesign Studio: Project Updates and Values

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A student from the Zumix team in Codesign studio participates in a values-driven brainstorm workshop.

Project Updates

This week all the student teams visited their community partners.  We spent the first half of class sharing updates and providing feedback about the four collaborative project: Zumix, the Urbano Project, REV/ The Brazilian Immigrants Center (BIC), and City Life / Vida Urbana.

  • The Zumix team is designing a brainstorm session for their project with young DJs in East Boston.
  • The Urbano Project team will continue to discuss how they can extend the organization’s theme “Emancipated City” to a larger audience in Boston through an interactive medium.
  • The REV/BIC team is building a phone system using VOIP Drupal that will explain domestic worker rights to those who call into the platform.
  • The City Life / Vida Urbana team aims to overturn the dominant narrative that states the foreclosure crisis is over, and demonstrate that people are still losing their homes.

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