Amplify is an exhibition and workshop series stemming from work done by the Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability (DESIS) Lab, a cross-disciplinary partnership among students and faculty researching the ways design can enhance community-led initiatives for sustainable living. Amplify work includes strengthening existing grassroots activities in New York City neighborhoods and developing new efforts. Projects on display in 2010 at the historic Henry Street Settlement in Manhattan ranged from community gardens to collaborative support services for older adults, each demonstrating how design-based action can help urban communities address everyday needs.


In the recent exhibition and workshop series focusing on North Brooklyn’s Greenpoint and Williamsburg neighborhoods, members of the DESIS Lab partnered with residents to creatively address local quality-of-life issues. Through its online community and public events Amplify became a critical platform for promoting new ways to facilitate change and solve community problems with input from local stakeholders. Students from the MFA Transdisciplinary Design program created proposals for toolkits to help local residents develop their own projects addressing topics such as environmental conservation, sustainability, resources sharing, cultural diversity, and transportation alternatives. One group of students designed a “mobile stoop”—a portable set of stairs where community members could gather and form social relationships that could eventually enable them to share resources and discuss problematic areas of their neighborhood such as a dangerous intersection or vacant lot.

 Learn more about this project at AMPLIFY.

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