Interaction and Communication II


School of Visual Arts
209 E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010
(506 Studio)
Tuesdays, 6:30-9:20pm
Spring 2023

Anthony Zukofsky

Last updated: April 18, 2023

About the site

A Community Interface

We are placing public computer terminals through which people can freely share information unmediated by censors. Community Memory allows people with no previous computer experience to enter messages, find messages entered by others, and enter responses to what they see. Messages are cross-indexed to related subjects to help people make connections.

— Computer Memory, Computer History Museum

Interactive Kiosk, Sidewalk Labs, 2019.

Digital interfaces have become largely harmogenous, with the same interfaces beging used globally despite different cultural needs and preferences. Whilst ther has been a drive towards “globalization” in previous decades there is now a move towards “localization”, which takes into account local needs and cultures. Ideas such as local manufacturing, community-driven intitiatives, and “crowd sourcing” are all impacting the way devices and services are used.

The goal of this project to to develop people-centered interfaces that address the cultural diversity of major cities we live in. 

Pick a problem that exists in NYC, and come up with a digital solution to help solve the problem. Think about the audience of who you are designing for.

You will propose a new interface that promotes an interaction between one or several of the following to solve your problem:

  • people-people

  • people-environment

  • people-services

  • people-technology

  • people-devices

The term “interface”should be interpreted in it’s broadest sense is not limited to screens, handheld devices, kiosks or products.


You are required to address the following as a group

  • Somewhere in New York City
  • Analog and digital component
  • Allows others to contribute content
  • Contain atleast 3 screens
  • Must be a piece of industrial design, however, it does not need to be a kiosk (example
  • Must contain some form of animated asset or prototype


  • Subway commutes are busy and filled with problems like germs, directions, and time crunches.

  • Bikers die often.

  • Bathrooms are hard to find.

  • I don't know what's recyclable, or how to recycle stuff when on the go.

  • Finding an apartment is filled with pressure and compromise.

  • My family doesn't live near me.

  • Carrying luggage is annoying without a car.

  • It’s hard to find volunteer opportunities.

  • The city's fast/competitive culture can be stressful.

  • Meeting new people is hard.

  • Who is this interface for? What’s your audience?
  • How is the interface influencing it’s location and community?
  • How is this interface helping it’s location or community?
  • What does this interface look like? Is it a phone app? is it a kiosk? is it a screen on the side of a building? is it a screen on the sidewalk?

New York City, as one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, is the geographical focus for this project. Culture is a broad term; for the purpose of this project we will be examining culture through the lens of “neighbourhood”, focusing on two aspects - locations (community, centres, etc.) and activities (special interest groups, etc.)

  • Location 1: 40.7264° N, 73.9818° W
  • Location 2: 40.7580° N, 73.9855° W
  • Location 3: 40.7410° N, 74.0076° W
  • Location 4: 40.7069° N, 74.0113° W
  • Location 5: 40.7347° N, 74.0048° W

  • Team 1: Jennifer Cai, Haowen Yu
  • Team 2: Ritu Sathwara, Minsoo Park, Ipshita Krishan
  • Team 3: Yifan Kong, Yutong Wu
  • Team 4: Don Park, Weilin Qiu, Yudi Zhang
  • Team 5: Joy Mou, Xiangyi Deng, Boqing Zheng

5 week: April 25, 2023

Your team will come prepared next week with the following:

  • Conduct an exhaustive study and research on your location. This should not just be limited to wikipedia. What is the history of your location? What is it called that? Who used to live in your location? Who lives their now?
  • Look for problems in your given location. Identify 20+ problems/opportunities.
  • Come up with 2+ solutions for each of the problems. Bring in single sentence description and initial sketch what this interface might look like.
  • Out of your 20+ problems, come prepared with a recommended direction and why you selected this direction. 

You will present your ideas and opportunities in Figma


For next week, we should be seeing substantial progress to your community interface. You should all be continuing progress on your assignment based on the class critique and moving forward.  

  • Introduction: What is the problem you are solving for? What is the opportunity? Where does this interface exist and why? What corner? What cross streets?
  • Research: Why did you select this direction? What images are relevant? What articles helped you influence your decision into choosing this direction?
  • User Experience: What content are you showcasing on your interface? How does some go through your experience purely from a content point of view?
  • Wireframes: How do you begin to focus on a single scenario for your experience? How might some navigate your experience from Point A to Point B? What is someone taking away from this experience?
  • Visual Design: What does this interface look like? Why does it look this way? What visual cues are you pulling from? What typography are you using?
  • Industrial Design: What does this interface look like? Is it a product? Is it a touch screen interface? Is it a large box?

You will present your ideas and opportunities in Figma

Based on all of the feedback from our team reviews, you will come prepared with a final set of research, designs, prototypes and renderings of your interface. Youre presentation should consist of 4-5 slides that includes:

  1. Introduction: What is your neighborhood? What is your project? Why? Where does your interface exist in the real world?  What is the who, what, when, where, why?

  2. Designs: What is your experience? What typography are you using? What does it look like? Why?

  3. Prototypes: How might someone interact with this?

  4. Renderings: What does this look like in the city? Is it a stand up screen? Is it on the wall? Is it on the sidewalk?  

Please make sure all of your latest work is on the Figma class workspace here.


This project is a translation from the Royal Academy of Art in collaboration with the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design taught in London along with Mindy Seu’s On Gathering taught at Yale University. Thank you.