Claro que Sí – Case Study

Hi gang,

As Birkan said, it was awesome to see the work everybody has done.


In January, we are going to continue our work with REV- and BIC. Please feel free to test our hotline  617-702-2395. Any comments are much appreciated!

You will find below our case study (and also our final presentation).


This project was born as a response to the deliberate legal exclusion of domestic workers from basic government oversight and protection.  Building from the previously successful, New Day New Standard project by REV- in New York State, we hoped to use the principles of co-design to (1) simplify hotline navigation and (2) implement an additional SMS subscription service for more effective communication.

Case Study:

Our presentation today:

Some updates and our presentation

Following one of the suggestions after our project proposal, we tried to simplify the logic tree of our hotline. The main idea is to eliminate any unnecessary complexity and focus on the messages we want to convey.

Douglas has done some draft drawings that will be part of the visual identity of our project. We also talked to our developers at TerraVoz in order to get their feedback on the project specifications.

This week will be busy!

Tomorrow, we are going to present the evolution of our project so far. You can check our presentation here:

We will probably tweak the slides before the Codesign Studio class but the main ideas are there.

Our NuLawLab partners will have their final official session on Wednesday at 6 pm at Northeastern University. They will be presenting their research on domestic workers’ rights and some new material related to the MA Bill of Rights.

On Thursday, we are going to record some sample episodes at Brazilian Immigrant Center (BIC) with a small group of domestic workers.

BIC/REV- First iteration

It is difficult to imagine a more diverse group than ours. Law, design, community organizing, development, storytelling… Our large team gathers all expertises! As my colleague Christian said in a previous post, we do not have one partner. We have four: Brazilian Immigrant Center, REV-, The NuLawLab at Northeastern University, and TerraVoz.

Naturally, it is awesome to count on such a rich set of skills. Nevertheless, it is an enormous challenge to coordinate all efforts. I am sure Marisa feels sometimes that she is herding cats. So far, I tell you, she has been successful!

Our project proposal has also helped us to figure out our roles in this project. On Saturday, we received useful advice from Sasha/Codesign team to improve our proposal. One of the suggestions was to assign more specific tasks to each member. Thus, we can have a clearer idea of everybody’s responsibilities. An ongoing updated version of our project proposal can be found here:

Another advice was the need of bringing all community partners together to discuss the design of our hotline. In fact, we have been talking a lot about this topic in our meetings. This drawing (by Marisa), for instance, illustrates the concept of “audio postcard” that we invented and that will be used in our project:


We also got inspiration from New Day New Standard Logic Tree:


We already have a rough draft of our voice tree:

It is one of the outcomes from our first project iteration. However, we know that it is not good yet. We need more meetings with our community partners to discuss it (and improve it).

Another outcome from this first iteration was a group of characters and stories that are going to be used to convey our messages on safety and environmental issues to housecleaners. Marisa and Anjum organized an amazing collaborative storytelling session! First, we had to invent characters for the stories. The idea was: the funnier, the better. We drew our ideas and presented them to the group. After that, we began to create stories… with the characters that other members of the group invented. At first, such approach seemed a bit chaotic… but after some time the convergence of ideas was astonishing!

Finally, we started a research on safety, health, historical and legal issues related to domestic house cleaners in Massachusetts and elsewhere. That research inspired many discussions in our meetings and will provide the theoretical background for the messages we are going to convey.

Here I am

My name is Alexandre Goncalves, a Brazilian who has been living in Cambridge since September 2012. You can call me Alex. I worked as a Science reporter in Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo for five years. I am also a computer programmer who worked for IBM and other software companies.

At MIT, I am a second year Master’s student at Comparative Media Studies and a research assistant in the Center For Civic Media. My main interests are data journalism and the future of press in modern democratic societies.

I love literature and philosophy… especially when they are found together. Like Albert Camus, I believe “a novel is nothing but philosophy expressed in images.” An amateur photographer, I am fond of images in whatever form they take: there is little more beautiful than a hike through the rainforest woven through with shallow but crystalline rivers.