During the summer of 2016, the Folkways team completed a 5-day Design Sprint (a fancy term for a brainstorm) to get community input on how to transform an old gas station into an urban park and community event space. It taught us that the biggest challenges require less time—not more—and that you can test anything in one week by building a realistic mock-up.
Day 1: Monday
First things first: we needed a goal: use community-centered design to activate and meaningfully transform the gas station into a beloved location for its neighborhood. We then mapped how you and others will interact with the site to better understand where we might be able to enrich your experience.
Day 2: Tuesday
We spent time collecting inspiring ideas from other projects throughout the world. We started to sketch out how these ideas might mix in with our own to make the the space more relevant and enjoyable for you.
Day 3: Wednesday
With time to only create and test one idea, we looked at our stack of solutions and voted on which one would help us achieve our goal. We chose to create a sitemap with park amenity stickers that you and other visitors could move around to design your own park. This way, we could begin to understand what exactly would be most important to make the space interesting to you.
Day 4: Thursday
In one day we designed and built a working prototype for you and others to test. By the end of the day we had quick, cheap prototype that was ready for your input.
Day 5: Friday
We invited five people to test the sitemap prototype and see what they thought. We not only learned how to improve the prototype for future community input, but also began to understand what’s important to you in an urban park setting.
We’re now into execution mode. Taking what we learned in Day 5’s test and continuing to learn more about the park that you and your community want.