After identifying the major limiting factor to success on this project as schedule coordination, our team prioritized creating a timeline for deliverables and benchmarks. Last Sunday, we discussed the scope of our project and decided that it would primarily function as a mini research project exploring the successes and failures of modern innovation districts, namely those in Boston and Fremont, and what contributed to those outcomes as well as what could be improved or removed. (I am personally curious to investigate how these factors would and should change in different cultural contexts-- i.e. the Asian-immigrant heavy, tech-influenced area of Milpitas, and the draw for young entrepreneurs in the innovation district). The following weeks consist of a schedule much like that used for other writing classes: due dates for initial research articles, various outlines and drafts, and the final paper. To this end, however, my major concern is how the variety of different ideas and perspectives that inherently come with working in a group will come together to create a cohesive paper. We previously discussed dividing the paper into segments, with one person in charge of each portion, but I think a more collaborative approach would definitely aid with cohesion and flow.
Most immediately we will be visiting the area intended for the Milpitas Innovation district to get an idea on the culture and community; ultimately it will help us aggrandize our imagination on what the innovation could be and what different practices might and might not work. To combine this with a better understanding of the parallel innovation districts, Yvonne has been working to coordinate a meeting with someone from the Boston Seaport District, and Alex has agreed to set us up with a meeting with Christina Briggs, the economic advisor for the Fremont Innovation District. (We have created a list of questions and hope that these questions will broaden the discussion.)
As someone who has grown up in the Bay Area, my primary concern is continued gentrification and minority marginalization, especially considering that the main customers and target audience are high-income tech workers and their families. After this week’s readings, I am curious to hear more narratives about the marginalized groups-- both in the ways they have benefitted as well as the ways they have been negatively affected, since so much media focuses on their oppression and not necessarily on the social and economic benefits that come with innovation and modern industrialization of areas. As I go into the preliminary research phase, I would like to explore this concept more in terms of the effects in Boston and in Fremont; I do not know hose areas nearly as well as I know San Jose/Milpitas or whether gentrification is as pronounced there as it is locally.