The Austin Chronicle: “Designing a Smarter City” by Robyn Ross, November 4th, 2016

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The Austin Chronicle: “Designing a Smarter City” by Robyn Ross, November 4th, 2016

“[The Design Institute for Health] is collaborating on a project with the Fusebox Festival, Thinkery, John­son & Johnson, local artist Jennifer Chen­o­weth, and the developers of the thinkEAST project near Govalle Park.

Their goal is to make thinkEAST – an affordable development geared toward artists – a catalyst for community health. Traditionally, Chang says, this would mean building sidewalks and exercise equipment, or adding a clinic to the property. But design thinking would call that a rush to the solution. First, what is the problem to be solved?

That’s where Chenoweth’s XYZ Atlas, a strategy for mapping the emotional landscape of a place, comes in (see “Jennifer Chenoweth’s XYZ Atlas,” May 13). Between 2013 and 2016, Chenoweth asked thousands of Austinites questions like “Where do you go to reconnect with nature?” and “Where was it that you were injured or assaulted?” The answers, captured in XYZ Atlas, reveal where in Austin people feel whole and healthy, and where they feel unsafe, angry, or depressed. The Atlas can be used to collect insights about the quality of health in the neighborhoods around thinkEAST. “For the first time we can have a conversation with the community about their health in a way that’s really emotionally relevant, not just cerebrally relevant,” Chang says. The team will share its initial ideas for embedding health in thinkEAST during a tour of Chenoweth’s Fisterra Projects Studio.”

Read more at the Austin Chronicle.