Sharea is a campaign focused on bringing diverse communities together to share and tackle local problems. The initial concept grew from slacktivism and the idea that people need to step away from their computers and rather than sharing things online, physically share with their community.
Imagine the imminent earthquake in Seattle happens. Right now with the way we interact with people living in our neighborhood we don’t really know where we can go to help or what skills are around us to get help from. We are completely dependent on the government in critical local situations. We’re not aware of the tools, skills and needs in our neighborhood.
The premise for the Sharea campaign revolves around a mobile event that travels around from community to community spreading awareness about
how neighborhoods can tackle existing problems, from a very simple one like filling out a pothole to a serious incident like an earthquake, together through sharing existing knowledge and resources.
Working together the team created an event that was flexible enough to work in a variety of contexts and environments. Rather than going into a community and telling them what they could do better, we wanted the community to define their specific needs, and find ways to intervene with existing problems through community knowledge and resource sharing.
After the event we would setup a system, including Sharea kits and app that would allow the community to continue the Sharea program long after our team had left.
PRE – Preparing the neighborhood for the event
DURING – Setting up a headquarter in the neighborhood where the community can gather to identify the problems and discuss and spread out to solve them.
POST – Providing the community with tools to stay connected and keep discussing and solving the problems in the community.
Sharea Bicycle Messengers spreading awareness about the upcoming Sharea event coming to their neighborhood.
Sharea Let’s Fix This Stencil Kit spreading awareness about upcoming Sharea event coming to their neighborhood. Signs or chalk paint cutouts where people can walk around community and highlight areas of need. They can put a sign on a roundabout that needs to be cleaned up, or chalk paint next to a pot hole.
Sharea is a travelling exhibit going from place to place to share the idea. Side walls are decked out with woodpaneling and cutouts for dimensional display of the logo and to attach exhibit items such as chalkboards, etc.
After brainstorming with the team we created a list of potential interactive vignettes that will be spread out from the Sharea mobile headquarters. In order to work with variety of locations we needed to create flexible stations that can adapt to work with any available space. All of the vignettes required to collapse so that they can all pack up and fit within the mobile headquarters in order to be transported from one location to another.
Volunteers will spread the word about Sharea event by riding branded bicycles throughout the neighborhood. Every participant gets a Sharea T-shirt and Sharing buttons that show their skills.
Large chalkboards that allow people to request items and skills to share. People can draw outlines of objects that they need and leave their contact information. Staff would scan in the outline and contact information to add to the community’s online database. Sharing topics can change depending on the needs of the community and can include: tools, skills, recreational equipment, clothing, food/recipe, support, books, misc.
Large public community board where people can post projects that they feel the community could use. People can also come up and volunteer on projects that they are interested in helping out with. There could be a calendar to help people schedule out the community project, and a list of items that the community needs in order to do the project.
Tables that people can sit around and talk/sketch/play with ideas. The surface is a chalkboard that people can write on. We can draw a map of the neighborhood, with chalkboard blocks that people can write a project on and place them in different areas on the map to show areas of need.
There’s a kit that contains all the tools they have used already to identify problems and manage solutions. There are also Sharea flags that people can hang from their houses / or put up on windows to show people that they are part of the Sharea community. This way they feel more welcome to pop-up next door to see if they can borrow something they need.
Furthermore there’s the Sharea app than enables them to stay connected and organized while keeping the conversation going.
The team did this project for a graduate level studio at University of Washington Design program. Kristine Matthews’ Exhibition Design class encouraged students to explore different settings and tools to deliver different ideas and messages in public spaces. In the final presentation, Sharea was announced as the best project of the class and to the time is pinned on the walls of the main corridor in the SoA+AH+D building.