Design Research

Team: Tia Huang, Alvin Kim, Jie Mi


Project Brief: 

Design Research

Conduct research in teams to help the client, The Neighbor Project, identify effective ways to increase community engagement in the Potrero neighborhood. Plan, conduct, and synthesize the research, and then communicate the findings in a way that inspires empathy.

Our objective is to understand how people can be more engaged in this community in order to help improving their participation in community events and activities. In addition, we also would also like to find out their conflicts and difficulties when engaging in communities. 


Mental Model





Design the environment of an event that participants want to see happening in Potrero Hill.

Recruiting 2-4 participants who live in Potrero Hill (94107)  who have taken our survey and agreed to do the interview.

Sessions were held in April, 2018. We did in-person interviews in proper, convenient places, such as the school and the participant’s workplace. Each session lasted from 45 minutes to an hour. 


  • The event can be anything

    • Religious or cultural festivals

    • parties

    • regular gathering on a weekend or a holiday

  • The event can involve foods and drinks:

    • Choose the appropriate foods and drinks from the provided images

    • Draw some for yourself

  • Choose an audience for your event, for example:

    • Adults

    • Teenagers

    • Children

    • Elderly

  • List out all the details of the event, for example:

    • Time

    • Location

    • Activity:

      • Game

      • Music

      • Ritual

  • Draw a floorpan/map for the event


Participant: Michelle Wadleigh

Michelle created a design of an “Olympic Game” in Potrero Hill. She suggested that the event would be held annually in a Franklin Square, where there is a softball field. 

The event would be held on Latino holidays such as Cinco de Mayo, Day of the Dead, and the Mexican Independence Day; it would be open for families with people of all ages, and people of different ethnicities would be invited to the game. There will be foods served - a barbecue station would be set up, and people can bring their homemade traditional foods in. 

It will be a healthy and fun game that involves a lot fo pride and competition within the local community.


Participant: Jose Alvarez

Jose created a design of an soccer game party in Potrero Hill. He suggested that the party could be held whenever there is a soccer game.

The event would be held in a local Brazilian bar; it would be open for young Brazilian adults over the age of 21, regardless of gender. There will be snacks and alcoholic drinks served, so no children will be allowed. It would be expected for participants to speak Portuguese, since it is the native language of Brazilian people. The soccer game would be played on the bar’s TVs, and people could wear the uniforms of their favorite players’ and face paint to the event.

According to Jose, soccer is Brazil’s national sport. Almost every Brazilian person loves soccer, and they will do anything to support their team and players on big games such as the FIFA World Cup. In some families, the parents will start to educate their children on Brazil’s soccer history because it would make them love their country more. It will be a fun and intense party that involves a lot fo pride and bring local Brazilian people together.


According to the generative and the previous evaluative research results, it is obvious that Latinx people value their families and traditions very much. Everybody has strong bonds with their family members despite where they live. They tend to pass their traditions down to the next generations because that is what keeps them connected. At the same time, they enjoy playing sports and sharing foods together.

The mindmap on the left shows the interconnections among the things that the participants suggested in relation to their preferred community events:

Since a lot of the designs involve the same components, it is obvious that a successful community event for the local Latinx residents should involve foods, beverages, traditional holiday and other sorts of celebrations in a public place. In order to encourage people to come out and connect to one another, it might be a good idea to organize an event on a holiday in a park or restaurant, prepare some foods, and invite Latinx families who live in Potrero Hill to join.

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2019 by Tia Huang. All rights reserved.

Data Chart