Community Resilience in the Fillmore


Co-Designing Community Resilience in the Fillmore



Graduate initiative
Advised by Kristian Simsarian, Christina Tran, Alexander Baumgardt
10 months, 2017

my roles

Community engagement
Grant writing
Team lead (rotating)
Fellowship development
Workshop facilitation




After a government initiated redevelopment program in the Fillmore district of San Francisco, the African American population fell from 13% in the 1970s to the 3% it is today. Since September 2016, we have partnered with the AAACC (African American Art & Culture Complex) to increase every day community resilience in the Fillmore. Our work was inspired by a 2015 local residents' ethnographic study that described the area around the AAACC as a "social gathering desert." The residents shared a vision of the AAACC becoming "a beacon or symbol to outsiders of excellence in Black arts and culture."


Our team, Platform, consists of Interaction Design and Architecture graduate students from CCA. My roles have included community engagement, grant writing, team leadership, developing the Design Fellows youth program and facilitating workshops. I led the design research phase working with our 5 design fellows to interview community members and synthesize our findings. 


Service Statement

We are in service to build an entry space, working with our Design Fellows, that facilitates social gathering and increases awareness of the AAACC.



We competed for and won the CCA Impact Award of $10,000. This enabled us to run a summer Design Fellows program with local youth in the community to develop and prototype a shared vision for the entry space. 

Our initiative was also awarded the San Francisco Community Challenge Grant of $36,000 to bring the community's vision to life in the form of a parklet. 


co-design approach

We worked with 5 motivated youth ages 9-18 to develop and prototype ideas of how we might facilitate social gathering in the entry space of the AAACC. Through interviews, prototyping sessions and events with community members, the fellows uncovered reoccurring themes around bringing the programming inside of the building, related to Black art and culture, to be visible outside. 



This parklet rendering is the output of our summer Fellows program, where the ideas generated by the fellows were brought to life by the architects on our team. This design will continue to evolve as we gather more feedback and input from the community.




We are now beginning the permitting process with the city of San Francisco and preparing to present the findings from the Fellows Program and latest designs to the board of the AAACC in October.