PSP’s ‘Define’ Intervention

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After a successful and supportive meeting with the head of the PSP’s maintenance staff, we got both our designs and installation space approved! Our sessions and project going forward hung in the balance of their feedback, so this was a huge weight lifted. We spent this week truly defining all aspects of our design: how it will look, how many pieces it will be and what the design means/portrays. We had a few new faces who brought along positive attitudes and a willingness to dive right in, along with our usual crew of 4-5 teens.

Catching new teens up has become something that we pass off onto our recurring teens; a bite-sized job they seem to enjoy. We have to subtly help them along with explaining the D3 process, but you can see their enthusiasm when explaining the project and the design. We did a spatial exercise and utilized a floor map to create exact calculations of the design: we’ll be folding close to 200 origami cranes that vary in 3 different sizes and hues of blue. During this exercise, the teens began to question the clouds within the design. They weren’t sure what they really meant and why they are relevant to the PSP residents. We took a hard look at what the clouds could mean in relation to the cranes. The teens came up with clouds being something unseen, the future, insecurity, etc, and the cranes are flying through them, hoping for blue sky on the other side. We were really proud of this analogy as they hit a strong emotional theme at PSP right on the head. Take a look at the pictures to see our design!

Categories: design it, PSP


The D3 Lab is a collaboration between the Pearson Foundation's New Learning Institute, COMMONstudio design consultancy, and Nightingale Middle School in Los Angeles. It is one part idea lab, one part design and production facility, and one part "do tank." It is a place where students come to nurture and cultivate ideas, tackle big and small problems, and take action.

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