Research

Kristin Dew

Spring 2021

Developing mapping tools for community-driven recognition & remediation 

Note: This DRG a continuation from Winter with two spots open for new members.

Urban communities in the Lower Duwamish River (LDR) have been underserved and overstudied. Legacies of settler-colonialism, industrialization, and redlining have reduced LDR ecosystem function, paved over green space, and contaminated soils and waters, all while erasing Duwamish presence and contributions to the LDR region. For decades, the Duwamish Tribe in particular and its NGO partners have driven accountability and contaminant remediation, while supporting local residents’ connection to this industrialized yet vibrant area.

How might interactive mapping tactics support the recognition of significant Duwamish sites and contributions to Seattle public spaces, particularly along the LDR? How might mapping existing community remediation assets and infrastructure better support the visibility of this work and align remediation resources with community aims? 

In this design research DRG we will address these questions by reading, building, documenting, and reflecting on our design process. Specifically we will prototype two related web-based mapping resources while documenting and reflecting on mapping as an interaction design tactic for making existing community expertise, assets, and presence more visible in public recognition and remediation projects. The first will draw on archival texts and other sources to map Duwamish sites across Seattle public spaces with the aim of making visible and recognizing Duwamish presence and contributions to these spaces. The second will chart out research expertise and community science assets across NGOs, activists to support current and future community-based watershed assessment and remediation work in the LDR. Please note these are not technically novel mapping projects (i.e. we will not be creating new kinds of tools), but investigations of mapping as an interaction design technique.   

Registration is for 2 credits and will be limited to a max of 8 dedicated design researchers. We will meet for up to 2 hours per week on Zoom with about 2-3 hours of asynchronous work each week; we will determine the best meeting time amongst participating students. 

Prior experience with design research, discursive design, visual design tools (e.g. Photoshop), mapping tools (e.g. GIS, OpenStreetMap, Mapbox), and community based practice are desirable but not required. This DRG may run through spring quarter as well, so students able to commit beyond winter quarter are particularly encouraged to apply. BS, MS, and PhD students are all welcome.

To apply, please email a brief statement of why you’re interested in participating with a CV and portfolio link to kndew@uw.edu by March 21. Note only two spots are open at this time.