This past Saturday, the Stanford team went to San Francisco for the Strong Homes Campaign Charrette hosted by the Neighborhood Empowerment Network. The objective of the charrette was to brainstorm solutions to different challenges people could face in the face of an earthquake in San Francisco. The event was a key milestone in our participation in the Strong Homes Campaign, as we collected the majority of the data needed for the final compilation of our deliverable, the earthquake resilience toolkit, through the event. Following the charrette, we are now trying to follow the project timeline we prepared earlier this quarter. Our first goal, which we accomplished this week, was to digitize the results, primarily the posters and backyard diagrams designed by the participants, of the charrette and share them with the NEN coordinators Daniel and Neftali. We now intend to get in contact with the NEN team soon in order to reflect on the results and discuss some ideas we may have for the final toolkit. Our biggest takeaway from the event was that literacy in survival techniques, not necessarily physical tools, is the most important asset a neighborhood could have to be well prepared to face a worst-case earthquake scenario. We hope to reflect this finding in our design for the toolkit.
What We Observed and Learned
Participating in last weekend’s charrette helped our team grow in multiple ways. First, going through the presentation that we gave regarding past disasters really helped us become more comfortable with sharing what we’ve learned to those who are invested in the wellbeing of Bay Area communities. And as we prepare for the expo at the D-School, going through the process of presenting as a team and refining the process of how we prepare our presentations gave us time to look back on our midterm presentation and address the areas that we felt were lacking. Second, interacting with the charrette participants helped us see how passionate community members are about building a more resilient San Francisco. Additionally, Wednesday’s guest speaker helped us better appreciate NEN’s approach in building the toolkit. Our guest lecturer said that when helping people it is best to ‘come with humility and ask questions.’ This is exactly what NEN is doing in preparing this toolkit, and we are excited to be part of a team that is doing it in that way.
Critical Analysis/Moving Forward
We now run the challenge of making something out of the collection of info we have received, which comes in various formats. We need to digest this diverse set of data and display it in such a way that will be conducive to reaching out to communities and from then on developing the final toolkit. Throughout the data there are focuses on habit forming and supply stocking, as well as multiple considerations such as space, community cohesion, and socio economic differences that may affect recommendations. The most clear cut divisions were advice for pre-disaster awareness and post-disaster survival, with consideration made for the case in which no preparation was made. As we move forward we need to figure out the most intuitive way to condense these different considerations into a single report. This means pulling data from our different means (personal notes, group notes, maps from the mapping exercise) into our report. Our current plan is to read through the data, make a set of organizational categories, code the data through these categories, and finally condense these bits and pieces into a report. We may also want to think of graphic representations that may aid in communicating the results from the charrette.