Design for America - Hermann Park Installations


Design for America is a student organization making a social impact through design. During Fall semester of my sophomore year I led a team that partnered with Hermann Park Conservancy in order to create a series of installations that tell the story of the hundred year transformation of Hermann Park, one of the landmark parks in Houston pictured below. Skip to the slides for Final Review for a general overview of the project.

Photo curtesy of Hermann Park Conservancy

I worked on a team of other Rice undergraduates including Phillip Hedayatnia, Maddie Bowen, and Claire Peng. When we we first met with our client, they had tasked us with making a "kiosk" that would generate interest and increased membership at the Hermann Park Conservancy.

In order to better understand who we were designing for as well as the nature of the problem. We conducted 50+ used interviews in various parts of the parks, at several different times and days of the weeks.

Phil and Maddie showing off our surveys.

Having immersed ourselves in the problem, we reframed the problem originally given to us by the Conservancy:

How can we engage Hermann Park patrons with the story of the 100-year transformation of the park?

With a clear problem statement, we began the brainstorming process. Eventually presenting our research and our initial ideas to the studio for Mid-Semester Review.

All of our initial ideas on sticky notes sorted on a 2-dimensional scale of feasibility vs. impact


Discussion as we further narrow our ideas in preparation for Mid-Semester Review


Final set of designs presented at Mid-Semester Review.


Presenting at Mid-Semester Review (check out our slides here)

With the first half of the semester under our belt, we sought to decide on our final design and begin prototyping. After deliberation and presenting to Hermann Park Conservancy, we decided to move forward with a design that emulates an easel with an empty picture frame in the center to highlight a current element of the park. Below the frame would be a panel that could explain the background and context of the showcased element.

Initial digital mockup


4-legged laser0-cut prototype


3-legged laser0-cut prototype

With our initial designs figured out. We set out to make a full size prototype.

Reflection Pool


Centennial Gardens

Check out the slides for the presentation we gave at Final Review.

Other projects like this: Participatory Budgeting

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