idBrooklyn is a placemaking, participatory design and art project. This process involves active participation from all the stakeholders of Brooklyn; residents, lovers, shakers and makers are encouraged to share their stories as a part of Brooklyn's identity. The medium for participation is open ended (with creativity encouraged) including testimonials, drawings, songs, writings, photographs, etc., all which share a piece of the borough's voracious history. Participation from the people then fuels the studio production of graphic icons representing Brooklyn's unique character and diversity, often times to elastic for verbal explanation. When completed, idBrooklyn includes a book of graphic icons, an exhibition at a main Brooklyn art space, a documentary short film and an App.
The project's main innovative component harnesses traditional practices from branding and integrated communications, and applies them in a collaborative artistic and social context in which most of the creative input is generated by the community itself. Our project is focused on discovering and visualizing the identity of a city through the eyes and experiences of its people. In addition, idBrooklyn seeks to challenge the way a 'brand' or 'identity' is perceived.
idBrooklyn received funding for Phase 1 through the generous donations at Kickstarter, and received the verbal endorsement of borough president at the time, Marty Markowitz. Currently, Phase 2 is in production, creating the first series of graphic icons and editing film content.
Phase 1 includes the development of the idBrooklyn app and the first series of hands-on workshops. The fall 2013 workshops included: The Brownsville Recreational center, LaunchPad in Crown Heights, Open Source Gallery in South Slope, Clean-up Chalk up event in Bed Stuy with local artist Maria Tsaguriya, the Brooklyn Children's Museum, the Drummers Grove at Prospect Park, Brooklyn Tech High School, the Williamsburg Flea Market, The Bathaus in Bushwick, an interview with David Niederman of United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg and North Williamsburg, and Uprose, Brooklyn's oldest Latino community-based organization. Additional participation was collected through a mobile app, "idBrooklyn." These workshops/app have resulted in the production of graphic icons and a documentary that seeks to materialize a wealth of memories, impressions and other testimonies collected from a wide range of Brooklynites. The workshops will also be included in the idBrooklyn documentary.
We documented the whole process of the project, departing from the initial idea, passing through the gaining of the support of Marty Markowitz, all the workshops and the final work of designing. The resulting documentary will be available very soon.
We are planning an exhibition that will bring the project back to the community that inspired and participated in it. It will display all the final icons along with a bunch of material explaining and showing how they were created.
We are collecting all of our material in a book that will show the resulting icons, and all the work that was made before, to make them possible. Testimonys, documents, pictures, drawings... the whole summary of this project.
A Web-based and mobile app interactive platform, specially designed for the project, from which everyone can download the resulting family of CreativeCommons icons to be used freely for not-for-profit purposes. The platform will also serve as a virtual museum.