Co-creator of Iconathon
Code for America in partnership the Noun Project organized and facilitated nationwide series of design charrettes -- day-long collaborative workshops to generate icons and symbols that visually convey concepts frequently needed in civic design. Resulting in the release of a set of 40 symbols for the public domain. Iconathon was documented by news organizaions such a: Fast Company, Forbes, AIGA Design Envy, and will be featured London School of Economics (LSE) case study textbook on design thinking for the public sector. (http://iconathon.org,http://iconcamp.org
Code for America, in partnership with the Noun Project, is pleased to announce an initiative to collaboratively design new civic symbols for the public domain.
In August & September 2011, several cities across the US will participate in a series of design charrettes -- day-long collaborative workshops -- called “Iconathons”. Through facilitated design sessions, event participants will generate icons and symbols that visually convey concepts frequently needed in civic design. The aim of Iconathon is to add to the public domain a set of graphic symbols that can be used by both the public and the private sectors to easily communicate universally recognized concepts to city inhabitants.
Each participating city will have a topic
and a set of about 30-50 civic concepts to choose from to design. For example, participants can modernize icons such as ‘family’ to reflect the makeup of modern families, create icons for new civic services like 311 (symbols for ‘potholes’ and ‘graffitti’) and icons for community spaces (‘local’, ‘community meeting,’ ‘community news.’)
With America being in the midst of a fast-paced demographic shift, and US census showing growing diversity, the government has a new challenge of quickly and efficiently communicating its services to a constantly evolving constituent base made of different cultures, ages, religions, and languages. Symbols serve as an integral part of overcoming this communication barrier, and are already widely used throughout various public spaces to represent objects and ideas within education, health care, transportation, and recreation. The symbols created as part of the Iconathon can be used in new civic web applications, in printed materials and in public signage.
Iconathon events will include design charrettes, design workshops and networking opportunities for local designers, urban planners, city staffers and developers who are passionate about civic design. Participants will sketch ideas and concepts during the events, and refine them from their home or design studios while continuing the collaboration process through social media. Each group working on a symbol concept may also be matched with a respected designer to get feedback on their designs. All designs will be submitted to The Noun Project, which will curate them based on technical and stylistic guidelines. A series of blog posts will follow events in each city.