Mark evolved out of the belief that there is value in creating a tool, which allows the residents of informal settlements to document and share their space not just with experts, and global institutions, but also amongst themselves. Mark, an early-stage SMS-based mapping tool, intends to turn the citizens of informal settlements into cartographers and advocates of their space. This platform aims to provide a digital infrastructure, which will be primarily applicable to those who live in Heliopolis. It will also be scalable and adaptable to other informal settlements over time. We believe that as these communities begin to map their surroundings, the dominant issues and cultural values that are relevant to them will start to shift from the background to the foreground. Our next post will discuss technology in the favela and the advent of the virtual class. Follow us as our venture evolves at mobilemark.org. Meagan Durlak is a recovering graphic designer. After spending the last 5 years working with a handful of great clients, (such as the Ontario Ministry of Health, Canadian Film Centre, Journalists for Human Rights, MaRS Discovery District, Makeshift Magazine, and the Royal Ontario Museum) she has come to realize that she wants to pursue design in a new way. In the hopes of making life a little more interesting, and exploring this new dimension of design as an approach, not just an end-goal, she is pursuing an MFA in Transdisciplinary Design at Parsons the New School for Design. James Frankis is a graduate student studying in the Transdisciplinary Design MFA at Parsons New School. He is especially interested in how open and crowd-sourcing data can lead to innovative new products and insights. Utilizing this through tinkering and strategic, user-oriented design, James attempts to create platforms that provide access to and inform people about complex, hidden or difficult information.
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