Once the hub of the civil rights movement the Auburn Historic District has suffered from lack of investment and abandonment for past two decades. Through our Social Justice and Design studio project we devised the idea of creating puzzle booklets help increase the engagement at the local museums amongst kids.
Being the African American’s Civil Rights Movements the Auburn the area is rich in historical heritage. It is right in the center of downtown Atlanta, the neighborhood, however, is losing signs of its past prosperity and glamor. Many historical buildings of great significance have suffered from poor maintenance and risked being torn down.
Our Challenge
Develop strategies that aim at reviving historical significance of the area keeping in ming social justice and media theories. My teammates ​​​were Aditya Anupam & Sarah Baik. 
My role
• I conducted research by making weekly site visits with my team to understand the project space. 
•  Ideated on developing concepts through each stage of the project and helped translated these insights into design for our poster 
• I worked heavily on the Interaction concepts of developing the format of the questions and the final visual language of the booklet design using Adobe Illustrator.
Final Outcome
Three downloadable and usable puzzle books that can be used at Auburn Avenue Civil Rights themeLegacy theme and Artifacts. Aimed at children between the ages of 7 to 13.
Interviews, Need Identification, Interaction Flow, Product Conceptualization, Visual Design, User testing
brain storming & IDEATION
1st Idea: Creating points of interaction with historic architecture
Through our frequent research visits we observed many old historic buildings in the area and we decided that we wanted to bring attention to these forgotten historical buildings of Auburn Avenue. 
We  built a framework to intrigue visitors to interact with the buildings. 
1. Initiation by a small token like a parking pass or a bill that people would receive at Auburn. 
2. Maintenance by creating curiosity with a clue or an incentive for the visitor to find the historical building as part of the clue and thus embark on a puzzle solving journey while learning about the historical buildings
3. Leave taking upon finding the building they would be rewarded by a memento and maybe find the next clue to another artifact on Auburn Ave
We used the infographic below to pitch our first idea
Prototyping the puzzle pieces to get feedback from our peers
The main feedback
From this stage of our project we learn't that our idea wasn’t focused on a "clear audience", and reduced the motivation of visitors to find our about the historical significance of the Auburn down to winning prizes or collecting mementos. It didn't help build any authentic interest or excitement about the place.
Going back to the drawing board 
To create a more meaningful experience we engaged more with social justice thinking as it related to the design of both digital and nondigital technologies. We closely examined how each of our ideas fostered or inhibited social justice, empowered or repressed people.
Building empathy for the situation and fact finding
1. Consulted area and historic experts at Auburn Public Library
2. Interviewed curators of Madame CJ Walker museum, Civil rights center staff
3. Reading literature of Social Justice by  
4. Contemporary competitive analysis
New audience and Focus 
On our third consecutive research visit to Auburn we noticed school groups pull up to the MLK Visitor Center and also to the King center. We decided to observe this school group to see how the children were interacting with the exhibits at the museum. Soon, it was clear to see that the children were distracted and bored by the museum. Their initial interest in the museum dwindled by the time they has finished the first floor. We though about how we could use our skills to help improve their experience at the museum.
Problem Definition
“How can we engage kids on their trip to the MLK National Historic site on Auburn Ave?” 
• Basic knowledge that can serve as a starting point for discussing concepts like segregation. 
• An increased interest in the history shown in the museums. 
• Fond memories and an eagerness to converse with others about their experience.
Device free interaction at the museum!
From our observation, we realized that it would be ideal is the puzzle booklets we in a physical form of a booklet instead of an app. Because of the following reasons:
1. Problems of accessibility: Each student has a different model of a phone, and most children don’t always have permissions on the phone to download an App. The school or museum could possibly provide an I-pad but those would be expensive to implement and there might not be enough for each student.
2. Children tend to remember things better when they write: It has been observed scientifically that children tend to remember things better when they write the content down with their hands.
3. Opportunity for student get off their devices: Lastly, we wanted to prove and opportunity for student get off their devices for a change, and have less distraction.
An interactive puzzle set connected to exhibits at museum
The puzzle sets would be in the form of booklets which students can work together in small groups to solve. They are both informational and interactive, and each puzzle can be solved by examining different exhibits.
First version on questions below:
In addition to sparking curiosity, we also wanted to provide open ended questions like the one on the right. They encouraged children to think creatively instead of looking for the answer in the exhibit. Taking the sings as an inspiration, we asked children what causes would they be interested in marching for and to create their own signs!
Layout of museum and the related questions
feedback from Teachers 
“Children are competitive they will try to copy the answers if there is only one version of the booklet!” 
Feedback from a teacher revealed that children are inherently competitive and so developing different forms of the booklet would be ideal to get them to work independently. 
Result: we developing three different themes for the booklet which can be used in the same museum. The natural flow of the museum helped us realize that this was the perfect opportunity to also apply themes each of our booklets. Namely : Civil rights, Legacy of MLK and Important Artifact Around the Museum, 
Final booklets can be downloaded here: Civil Rights themeLegacy theme & Artifacts
User testing 
We were able to test one version of our booklet on the theme “Civil Rights” at the Visitor Center on Auburn. Kian, our tester helped us understand how children his age would interpret directions and determine the locations of certain artifacts. He also helped to point our errors that we had made in the writing of the text and the order of artifacts placed with in the museum. 
Key Observations during testing
• Questions need to also be clear and concise. 
• Picture clues are an effective way finding tool. 
• Repetitive questions eg... Only Fill in blank questions tend to cause children to get dis-interested, we needed to add variety to the format of the questions. 
• Children don’t need to handle solving the entire booklet on their own, they can involve their teachers or parents to help them understand certain concepts. 
We can spark a curiosity but complex subjects need details
From observing Kian and also class discussions we soon realized that it was not possible for us to help children understand complex concepts associated to the Civil Rights movement like “Segregation” just by asking them to answer a couple of questions in a booklet. Instead we could use the booklet as a way to direct students to certain kinds of exhibits that could help spark their curiosity. The goal was to format the questions in way which would encourage children to engage their parents or teacher in a discussion to help them understand the subject matter. 

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