A simple set of questions
What do you need What do you think? These simple questions remind us that no matter how complex it gets, it's still about people, talking with people, and living with people. Because no matter how far we may find ourselves apart from one another, our similarities will always outweigh our differences.
The aim of this project is to celebrate the shared human experiences of those that find themselves in the Tenderloin and those that don't. The neighborhood itself is unfortunately susceptible to one-sided reporting and dire data sets that only perpetuate these negative stereotypes. To balance this, We All Need is a data set that aims to remind us that there are people living in the Tenderloin, a simple fact that is easily overlooked.
A Winning Prototype and the Great Urban Hack
We never set out to win anything, we just wanted to make something better. And that thing was our neighborhood, the Tenderloin of San Francisco.
Early one Saturday morning, we gathered for the first hackathon and design charrette held by the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. It's worth mentioning that a sister hackathon was being held simultaneously in New York at the legendary EYEBEAM. We worked side by side, connected via projected video feed. The continental United States was a little smaller that day.
We All Need was built in two days by a small group of programmers, journalists, designers, and academics. That Saturday morning, we took to San Francisco’s dynamic and much-maligned Tenderloin District, we spoke to those in the community and identified the issue, the dehumanization of an entire neighborhood. We then spent the remainder of the weekend gathering a dataset, designing and building an online resource.
With this little gesture, we hope a vivid portrait of the Tenderloin composed of the thoughts and needs of people interviewed on its streets will transcend neighborhood boundaries and inspire a meaningful conversation.
Special thanks and credit to Jake Levitas, without whom this collaboration and prototype would not have come together.