Hello, World! It’s me, Sam.

I’m Samuel R. Mendez, and everyone outside of my family usually just calls me Sam. I’m an artist and researcher from Chicago.

In this semester’s codesign studio, I mainly hope to support ongoing work in the Boston area around some aspect of social equity. My focus in my academic work is usually some aspect of health equity. It’ll be interesting to see how this focus can bring something useful to the table for an organization working on a topic that might not seem directly related at first glance. I’m super excited to learn from people who have been focusing on a different set of social issues than I’ve been.

On the production side of this class, I have skills in animation, video, and basic front-end web development. I’m constantly exploring new methods of expressing ideas and bringing people together to discuss them. Most recently that’s included performing and writing short stage pieces. I enjoy the surprises that pop up when I’m helping to figure out what methods are best suited to realize a certain idea and accomplish engagement goals. In this codesign studio, I’m looking forward to the process of exploration and finding the right methods to help a community organization further its goals through a specific project.

An abstract representation of the collaborative design process: a triangle surrounded by squiggly lines on each side and thick, short curved lines on each point. Three thinner, shorter curved lines surround the squiggly-line shape in an outer layer.
An abstract representation of the collaborative design process: a triangle surrounded by squiggly lines on each side and thick, short curved lines on each point. Three thinner, shorter curved lines surround the squiggly-line shape in an outer layer.

I think the codesign process should be something that invites codesigners to flip on its head, rotate, take apart, and toss around to find the best angle from which to approach their goals. I think it should be a cycle without a very clear starting or ending point, both exciting and challenging in its flexibility. I represented these qualities through my abstract image in our “Name That Tech” exercise.

As such, I don’t yet have a clear idea of what I want to work on in this studio. I hope to find the area where I can best contribute by learning more about some of the projects and groups that classmates have connections to.