Friday, June 4, 2010

final stretch!

So close!

Over the course of the last week, the articulation of my project has continued to change. I think the fact I basically wrote a book has really pushed the my articulation of my project. Guidebook production troubles (no surprise there, I'm DS, not VCD!) aside, I feel much better about my project than I did a week ago.

This quarter has been quite the exercise of fitting into the mold (or template, literally), and one of the most frustrating in terms of time management and efficiency in aspects outside of my own control. It's really cemented some of my own beliefs on the type of person I am and my personal working style. Despite the struggles, I truly do love design studies and think the removable of the DS track starting next year will be of significant loss to the SoA. The 3 year journey has been everything; blood, sweat, tears, and then some, but one that I have no regreats about.

And now I'm off work, skipping class (sorry, art h 318!), and off to studio for the final stretch!

Friday, May 28, 2010

final object

I've settled on making a booklet/guidebook thing, still keeping with the print medium. I'm envisioning a different (read: more complicated, and possibly regrettable) way of binding rather than the simple saddle stitch staple binding I originally planned for. I think it will better help organize and present the information I am trying to present. It'll be two separate sections (one on the background, philopshy, and objectives of the project, etc, and the second more the how-to) bound into one larger one.

So there it is, I'm sticking with it, and going to get it done.

Are there printer shops out there that can print double sided, or even single sided ink jet? or should I just buy my own printer now, haha sooo late in my design education track to do so. lame.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

research symposium reflections

The research symposium was definitely an interesting experience. Luckily, I was displaying next to Kelsey and Anthony, so I didn't feel too out of place amidst the many scientific research projects.

There were a couple types of people that came and talked with me. Firstly, were the ones that were interested in the project itself, the goals of the project, the work I hoped to put out into the real world, and how the research informs it. Some of them were familiar with the concept of all-ages music, some were not, but all of them seemed to appreciate the fact that the policy I was writing was something that would actually be put out into the community.

There were also a couple music enthusiasts that came by, many of which have at least heard of The Vera Project. We chatted about the health of the scene in general, the challenges, our favorite bands and shows, etc. Most of them admitted they never thought too much about the issue of security, although most have seen fights/illegal happenings, etc. I was glad to be able to draw attention to something they have experienced but is rarely top-of-the-mind. Collective consciousness and recognition of the issue can only be good for the bottom-up push towards a safer community and events.

The most interesting thing that struck me about talking to these people was the effectiveness of storytelling. My poster clearly lacked the standard sections of "methodology", "hypothesis", etc, so I think for many people, it was difficult to understand where the "research" was. However, I started telling the story of how I arrived at this project through my work with The Vera Project, and what I have planned going forward. And suddenly, it made sense to these people what was researched and how that helps drive the project forward. Nothing new to us DSers, but storytelling spans disciplines, and this ability to do so effectively is one that makes us the designers we are.

Lastly, which I found most amusing, were those that came by to see the poster itself. I didn't realize how different my poster was (which the black image and reversed out type, rather than the standard black text on light background) until I looked down from the second floor. I had a couple pretty interesting conversations explaining my poster design, why I did it the way it was, etc.

I also had quite a few people ask me about my major, after I explained the project to them. It clearly wasn't marketing research, and it didn't appear to be design research to most people. It's funny how people want to connect your research to your studies, as though that would validate your research, and I suppose, it makes sense.

Overall, a great chance to get some of my own thoughts in order.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


My capstone is a lot more writing heavy than I would like. I wish I had a way with words. It's amazing how text dependent we are in communication.

On a somewhat other somewhat related note, why didn't we partner with other people in our projects rather than individual projects? I mean, some of the VCD kids are designing booklets, magazines, etc, using text they copied off the internet about some topic. I would love it if they designed a booklet or something for my project! That way, I could focus on what DSers do best, and let them make it all pretty looking. Play to each of our strengths. Total win-win situtation. If the design devision wants to make itself revelant to the real world, we'll have to start collobrating with the larger community, but even so, it starts with collobration within our own devision of design, something which is sorely lacking atm.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

me me me!

Personal Statement
Although a business major, design is my lifestyle. Creativity generating synergy, to produce impactful work regardless of industry.

visual communication

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ultimate Security Plan

After a couple weeks, a few meetings and revisions with JP and Greg, we have a solid outline drafted:

1) “Manifesto” how this security stuff reflects our mission as The Vera Project

2) Policies
a) Non-discrimination
b) Pyrotechnics & other stage gimmicks (smoke machines)
c) Money Handling (if robbery?)
d) Building Access (green room, catwalk, recording studio, backstage, etc)
e) Right to refuse entry/confiscate possessions
f) Capacity (including measuring capacity)
g) Extended absence
h) Key Holder policy
i) “Alone in venue” policy
j) Background check policy (who, when, how often, etc)
k) Communication with volunteer
i) Outreach
ii) Filling positions
iii) Volunteer follow up, disciplinary
l) Contact info (in case of emergency, who do you call for ____)

3) Staffing Considerations
a) Staff : crowd ratio
b) “Reflect the demographic” (gender balance, cultural sensitivity, etc)

4) Staff/Volunteer expected/responsibilities
a) Sober, friendly, ready to work
b) CPR
c) Diversity training
d) Conflict resolution/de-escalation
e) Shadow x number of times required
f) Filling volunteer positions in advance
g) Define where documents live, accessibility, regular check
i) Volunteer info logging/accessibility

h) Roles defined

i) Pre-production Staff
(1) Program Dir
(a) Relationship with local precinct
(2) Talent Buyer
(a) Report to local precinct upcoming events
(b) Value match
(c) What crowd will they draw?
ii) Lead Show staff
(1) Show staff meeting
(a) Debrief, monthly meeting
(2) Show Manager
(a) Night-of liaison with police
(b) Report to Program Director
(c) End-of-show log
(3) Sound Eng
(4) Steering

iii) Support Show staff
(1) Front Door security
(2) Side door security
(3) Greenroom/backstage security
(4) Roamers

iv) “Culture” of security”
(1) Fair, Friendly, Firm
(2) Define Security Positions as more than “bouncers”→ HOSTS
(3) Use of Force Continuum
(4) Incident/accident documentation & review
(a) Back up Plan
(i) Prioritizing of security positions/roles in case there isn’t the ideal # of people working that event
(5) How to have people “in the know” (Required items to cover during pre-show briefing)
(a) Tonight’s lineup & set items
(b) What relevant shows/events coming up in this community
(c) What types of issues should we look out for tonight
(d) Show strips
(e) Newsletter to volunteer list

v) What do I do If???? (Refer to show binder)
(1) Emergencies
(2) First Aid
(3) Facility
(4) Bands
(5) Volunteers
(6) Audience
(7) Close up

5) Non-security Safety
a) Emergency Evacuation Plan
i) Specific roles for each position
ii) Training
iii) Occasional review
b) Unsafe Building Conditions (spills, etc)

Monday, May 10, 2010

this weekend

I got to hear about and check out some of the senior projects from the students at Emily Carr. I love their space! But most importantly, I thought it was really valuable to see what our Canadian counterparts are up to. There was one project which I found somewhat similar in several ways.
It was an exploration of engaging youth in a rural/suburban community around a certain community issue where the student went in and taught basic design skills and the design process to the kids, and facilitated their creation of an artifact to bring youth and adults together. Based on the fun theory, their artifact took the form of an interactive maze game.

What struck me most about this project, and about a lot of their project in general, was that it really was more about the process of exploration and creation, rather than what came out in the end. Whereas we have a separate DS path from VCD and ID, a lot of their projects had a heavier DS component intregrated compared to many of our VCD. and ID projects.

Some of their projects are not finished, and being able to see how each person addressed that in showing a final exhibit was interest, especially since my own project will be in a similar unfinished state.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

where to now?

Tonight, I'm meeting with JP at Vera to strengthen up our outline for this comprehensive procedural policy. (A true security policy is more than just security in the traditional sense, it becomes evident in every section of general venue procedure, and we have chosen to embrace that by creating a venue-wide procedural policy, rather than just show security policy, which will be merely a section of our large work)

Monday, May 10th, we're meeting with Greg again, to start getting the content into our outline.

This I am completely stoked for, and yesterday, had the chance to present the project to the membership's programming committee, and get them abroad. Feedback as been positive, and people are excited and already signing up for the membership-optional security training session we have tentatively planned for the 22nd.

However, I am no longer excited about my capstone project. I think the limitations of having to create something-- for an audience that isn't the audience I am working with and whom the final procedural policy is written for-- is, in my mind, too academic and not enough applied "to the real world." Based on my chats with people during my research, there isn't really anything tangible worth creating at this point. People in class want to see some sort of booklet thing basically illustrating how to give youth ownership. Which is ...nice (that's what we say about people/things we have nothing negative to say about but nothing else positive to say about either, isn't it?), and probably what I'll end up doing if I can't think up anything else more useful... but meh.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


can be so powerful.

Another reason to give teach, nurture, and give youth ownership: because they develop a respect and appreciation of the place, in a way that motivates them to protect the place, and to support it rather than do harm.

even before

It's amazing the amount of preemptive steps that can, and should, be taken to prevent anything problematic from arising. From who you hire to making allies with the charismatic leader in the social group, most problems and situations can be discouraged and erased before they cause harm to anyone.

to inform

Phone tag finally came to an end, and Greg, Josh, and I had a meeting on Friday. Here is our timeline so far for rolling out the policy for Vera:

We timed the dates to coincided with our monthly meetings and quarterly members meetings because those are when we'll have the highest number of stakeholders all together to discuss, debate, and approve this project.

May 18: presentation of outline and open discussion at show staff/steering meeting

May 22: 3 hour show security training for staff (Tentative)

June-Sept: [meetings with various stakeholders (for sure staff and steering, potentially programming and board) at their monthly meetings, exact agenda and dates tbd]

Oct 14: Presentation at quarterly members meeting with proposed draft. By now, all stakeholders would have had a couple chances to give input on the policy between June-Sept, and a final committee vote of approval would have been taken to send the policy to a vote at this Oct 14th member's meting. Discussion would be on fine tuning and minor changes.

Jan 15: Presentation and vote of approval by membership at this quarterly member's meeting.

I'll have to revisit my plans on what to show for June. My project will very much be focused on bringing attention to the need for such a policy to be developed, but I'm not sure what tangible item is best for that, or if there's even need for one. I don't want to make something for the sake of having something to show...

I have another meeting this afternoon, so I'll see if that is useful in any way, and update later tonight!

Monday, April 26, 2010

showing process

Kelsey brought up in class today a great question on the topic of the design process.

It's hard enough to understand our "design process." But how do we portray it? In a discipline that prides itself on the process as much as, if not more, than our product, what would our "process book" look like? In VCD and ID, you'd see ideation from rough sketches to computer generated mock ups or prototypes, to the finalized product. In design studies...?

Perhaps that is what makes us unique. Our varied background and the different contexts in which we do our work, informs different processes for each of us, in a way that does not lend itself to an idealized, standard DS "processbook."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

only logical

I think it's been hard to illustrate to others what makes youth different in a way that creates the need for my project. I don't know why I didn't do this early, but it's time to create a persona!

Meet Quinn!
Quinn is a 17 year old junior in high school, living in the suburbs of Seattle. He is taking sound production classes at his local community college. Quinn plays the guitar (self-taught), and jams weekly with a band formed of his high school friends. His favorite artist is John Vanderslice. He can almost always be spotted wearing a band shirt, showing off his musical preferences. Quinn attends 3-7 shows a month, most of which are local, small indie bands. He generally also attends Folklife, Capitol Hill Block Party, Sasquatch, and Bumbershoot. He attends in-stores at Easy Street whenever it features a band he enjoys. Quinn downloads a lot of music, but also owns vinyl of all his favorite artists. He owns some cds, but mostly his cd collection consist of mixed-tapes from his friends. Quinn also burns cds of his prefered artists for his friends and acquantiances, although he is slowly shifting from phsyical disks to posting links on friend's facebooks.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What is DS?

Back to the ultimate question.

be an adaptable process
communicate with diverse audiences
gather and synthesize disparate information

find new relevant problems
connect design to outside fields
change/influence behavior, ways of thinking, society, and context

understand how designs fit into larger systems
produce novel frameworks for understanding information
produce products that may be more traditional graphic or physical design, or a design for a system

Sunday, April 18, 2010

it will get done

After some more discussion with some people at Vera, I realize what I actually want to do is way out of scope of the capstone project. Vera will develop and publish something speaking to a the necessity of and development of a comprehensive security policy for all-ages music venues, and I'm leading the charge (otherwise it might be one of those amazing ideas we have but takes forever to get off the ground, or doesn't happen at all, due to lack of manpower)! Hopefully that will be done this year, and the education curriculum can be developed next year. I'm trying to get in touch with the man everyone raves about, and set up a meeting with him and the vera folks, to kick off some hard core discussion.

What does this mean for my project? I guess I'll just see how much we can get done, and think of something to show. I'm hoping by May I'll be able to present the issues and areas specifically that need policy/best practices to be developed for, if not actually be able to present policy/best practices. No idea what tangible take away I'll be able to create though. Without a doubt, I'm going to keep on this project as vera works through the issue in the next year or so.

kids deserve high expectations

Sunday, April 11, 2010

speaking from experience

I was working a dance event, technically a rental, and had the chance to see a dance event by youth for youth that was successful. Here's what I learned:

Nothing like the presence of peers. The group had a youth staff of about 20 that organized the event, and was running the event on-site. There were two advisors of the groups, plus about 4 parent chaperons, and two off-duty officers, but the event logistics were handed by these teenagers. The effect it had was amazing. The youth attendees, knowing they were being watched by their own peers, and that any trouble they got into would be causing trouble for their own peers, was a powerful force in keeping the peace. The youth staff was not shy about asserting their presence, which is an important way of establishing themselves as a source of reputable authority which their peers could understand and respect. They wore event staff shirts, black with bright neon print, and were constantly around and visible event if there were not currently staffing a position (they worked on a rotation shift schedule).

First response, and clarity of roles.These youth staff members were also able to recognize trouble in its early stages and get them out of the crowd, and to somebody better able to handle it. One girl attended reeked a alcohol, and the youth staff member immediately pulled her aside and passed her off to the off-duty officers, advisors, and myself. This youth staff member understood that their role was to keep at her postilion doing coat check, and to serve as a filter. By understanding what was in and what was out of scope for her position, this youth staff member was able to contact the appropriate staff to handle it. Secondly, by getting the girl off to the side and removed from the crowd at large, it isolates it problem so that others are less likely to get involved and blow up the situation. This is crucial to preventing the problem from getting out of hand.

Support, but empower. The event went so smoothly not because there weren't problems, but because it was handled quickly and cleanly by everybody that was present. By empowering the 20-some youth staff members to plan and execute an event that meant a lot to them, it made them vested into the outcome of such an event. The advisors only advised them in plan the event logistics and chaperons were only present to support the youth staff and stayed upstairs (the event is confined within the downstairs space). Giving the responsiblity of running the event and keeping everybody safe to these young stakeholders, while making sure to support them as they learn how to, is what made the actual event itself so successful (from the security point of view, and they also made a profit to be donated to charity!)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

themes echoed

A Review of Minneapolis’s Youth Violence Prevention Initiative
Abstract: This publication, from the National Center for Victims of Crime, describes an initiative started in 2006 by the city of Minneapolis to prevent and reduce violence by and against youth. To document the program and highlight its law enforcement innovations, NCVC staff visited Minneapolis in October of 2008, conducting a series of interviews with Minneapolis and Hennepin County officials, community leaders, and law enforcement officers.
Published: 03/05/2010

"The Blueprint initiative assumes that children are not born violent— that violence is a learned behavior that can be unlearned through strong, positive messages that counteract the many violent ones youth receive every day through their music, television, movies, video games,
and other media."
To make secure and safe, you must put out the message against violence in a way that can be learned and internalized by the youths whose behavior you are trying to influence.

"From the beginning of the Blueprint planning process, Minneapolis saw the importance of involving youth—particularly from the neighborhoods with the worst crime problems—in finding solutions to youth-related crime. " "The youth raised important questions and made many constructive suggestions that were later incorporated into the Blueprint. For example, one exchange about guns in schools and youths’ fears about reporting them led the city to recommend a confidential youth tip line as a Blueprint action step. The committee held a
subsequent meeting to let the youth know which of their ideas had been included in the Blueprint, which had not, and the reasons for the committee’s decisions. One youth continues to serve as a steering committee member, with a role in shaping how the Blueprint implementation unfolds. The MYC continues to facilitate youth input on a wide range of local policy issues. "
Nobody understand youth issues as well as the youth who experience them. While they might not always be able to articulate the specifics, they have a perspective that is crucial to truly understanding the problems at hand. Policy makers much engage and learn from these youth. Furthermore, youth engagement will increase their invest and buy-in of the efforts being made to improve these issues that relate to or directly influence their life and experiences.

Review: Best Practices from Music Nightlife Handbook


  • Perform background and reference checks of all employees.
  • Ensure that staff is trained to maintain clear stairways, exit routes, and aisles at all times.
  • See that Shift Managers and/or Supervisors are responsible for checking all emergency exits at the beginning of shift AND for making sure that exits remain clear and unlocked for the duration of their shift.
  • Ensure staff is trained on emergency policies
  • Complete incident reports or log entries for every Security, Police, Injury, Use of Force, or other Public Safety incident that occurs in our around your immediate premises.

Event Promoters

  • Hiring event promoters with a valid business license and professional references.
  • Be aware of how and where events will be advertised, and do not allow excessive promoting of events, or promotion to "the wrong crowd"
  • Venue is responsible for staffing, security, ID-ing, weapons screening, occupancy limits, drugs & contraband, finances, admissions tax, behavior, levels of intoxication. Maintain control at all times. Never allow a promoter or their staff to control ID checking at the door, the clicker, the bar, or collection of the cover charge.
Age Verification
  • All-ages events makes it unnecessary to enforce age-limit and require checking ids.
  • However, in case of will-call tickets, policies should be clear and consistent, and strictly enforced, ie requiring credit card used for purchase.
  • Keep the line moving as smoothly as possible and ensure that a problem solver is always near the door to deal with issues.
Line Queues
  • If you regularly have line queues for entry into your establishment, designating security staff to walk the line can be an effective deterrent against disruptive and/or illegal activity. Line security are tasked with assessing intoxication, reviewing dress code, ensuring line queues are not encroaching on other properties or businesses, monitoring smokers & littering, maintaining the 5 feet sidewalk clearance required by the ADA, and monitoring line mixing between cars and patrons. Patrons who fail to meet dress code, violate the code of conduct, appear intoxicated or have a prior record should be removed as soon as possible to avoid incidents.
  • Multiple Line Queues: VIP lines and special entry privileges can create problems and are generally discouraged by law enforcement entities. If have another line for separate entry, ie one for cash sales other for will-call, make sure to have approver readily available at the each entrance to avoid conflict. and clearly indicate purpose of each line to reduce confusion by patrons
Code of Conduct
  • Post a Code of Conduct prominently inside and outside your club. Ensure your staff knows the code and enforces it consistently, without exception. Patrons who violate the code should be removed immediately. If patrons resist or situations escalate, security staff should call for SPD assistance immediately. Contacting SPD for assistance will not be held against a club, and should be encouraged.
Re-Entry Policy
  • Re-Entry Policy: Allowing re-entry without strict monitoring can lead to problems such as over-occupancy and over-consumption off premises. For these and other reasons, re-entry policies are discouraged. If you allow exiting for smoking, consider designating a secured or controlled area for this purpose. If re-entry is allowed, it is critical to require that every patron be re-screened and bags checked upon re-entry. Many violent incidents could be avoided if patron re-screening is maintained consistently and thoroughly. Remember, you are still responsible for an intoxicated person on your premises, even if they drank outside. This includes an intoxicated minor on your premises during an all-ages event regardless of where that minor consumed the alcohol.
  • Occupancy: Have a clear policy on counting patrons, and be sure to enforce it consistently. At a minimum, establishments regularly reaching their occupancy capacity should use both in and out clickers. You must decide how to count smokers who exit and re-enter, and be consistent. The best practice would be a “no re-entry” policy or possibly charging a re-entry fee for patrons who insist on exiting the premises. It is in your best interest to keep people inside, patronizing the business, and limiting access to any weapons or contraband that may be kept in vehicles.
Security & Staffing
  • Training is imperative
  • Weapons / Contraband Screening: Whether you decide to use wands, pat-downs, purse checks, or another form of screening, be sure there is no confusion about your policy. Maintaining clear, consistent enforcement is imperative. Weapons of any kind have no place in your business. Establishments have a duty to call 911 when weapons are discovered, in case of injuries and medical emergencies, or when any criminal activity is discovered. You may be liable for any criminal activity that occurs as a result of failure to report. Whether or not these instances are reported to police, an internal record should be kept at the very least.
  • Staff Uniforms: Whether it is a shirt or jacket, consistency in identifiable club employees, security, and door staff is imperative for crowd control. Ensure that your staff are aware of each position’s responsibilities, and provide clear and concise job descriptions.

    Particularly, Security staff should all be easily identifiable in “Security” marked shirts or jackets. If you choose to employ plain-clothes security, they should not take action unless identifiable security staff is present, or if it is a dire emergency. In such instances, they should clearly identify themselves as security before engaging patrons “hands on.”

  • Floor Roamers: Assign dedicated employees to roam the club, bathrooms, VIP areas, etc. Experienced, well-trained security staff will mediate and diffuse situations before they escalate.
  • Security Staffing: In addition to entry security personnel (ID checks, weapon checks, line queues) it is crucial to have enough security staff monitoring your patrons inside. Consider a security:patron ratio for high volume events
  • Security Staff Equipment: Special consideration should be given to the equipment your security staff will use:
    1. Firearms: Only licensed, private, outside security personnel are allowed to carry firearms, and never inside your premises.
    2. Flashlights: Security staff should carry relatively small high-powered flashlights in lieu of the Mag-Light style which are heavier and might become a dangerous weapon or be turned against security personnel.
    3. Handcuffs / Restraints: When properly used, handcuffs are the safer option for restraining patrons prior until SPD assistance arrives.
    4. Pepper Spray (OC): If you choose to outfit security staff with pepper spray, you must make it clear that under no circumstances should anyone discharge pepper spray inside your premises. Widespread panic and injury is inevitable as a result of indoor pepper spray use. If security determines pepper spray is warranted, it should only be discharged outdoors and away from exits or ventilation ducts. Certain types of pepper spray are not allowed, so consult with SPD before you authorize use by security personnel. For further information about pepper spray and its reaction when used with tasers, see the linked article from Law Officer Magazine.
  • Two-way Radios: Internal radio usage is up to the establishment, and highly recommended, particularly if crowds consistently top occupancy limits. Security staff and management should be in constant contact, ready to resolve problems before they escalate. In addition, be in contact with other neighboring clubs to let them know when an unruly patron has been removed from your premises.
  • CCTV: While there are no requirements for security camera monitoring, taking this measure protects you as much as is protects your patrons and assists law enforcement. Establishing a pattern of good practice is key. Consider cameras to monitor entrances, exits, and any other sensitive or problem areas. CCTV systems should have at least one weeks to a month of footage before they over-write, and any footage that exists must be immediately given over to law enforcement if requested for incident investigation.
  • Lighting: If you have crowd control issues, it may help to bring up the lighting levels inside your establishment. Consider raising levels on the dance floor, in lounge areas, restrooms and entryways.
  • Theft: Theft is one of the most reported incidents by patrons to nightlife establishments. Encourage patrons to check their coats and bags to prevent theft. Ensure that control and order are maintained in the coat check area at all times, especially at closing. Keep records of thefts occurring in your club for your protection as well as the protection of your patrons.
  • Outdoor Monitoring: If your outdoor areas are a problem or you deal with repeated incidents outside your establishment, you might consider installing outdoor monitoring systems , extra lighting and posting signs clearly stating that patrons are being monitored in those areas.
  • Parking Lots: If you have a parking lot, you are liable for this space and it is considered your premises. Your parking lot should be monitored by personnel or by CCTV at all times when your patrons may be present. Be sure sufficient lighting is in place to assist security in monitoring these areas. In particular, it is essential to monitor parking areas to prevent patrons from drinking in or around vehicles prior to entry or re-entry.
  • Conflict Management: Clear policies and training on conflict management are imperative to your security plan. Institute an “Ask. Tell. Make.” Policy, (Ask them to correct the behavior; Tell them to correct the behavior; Make them comply) and be sure it is enforced consistently. If patrons refuse to comply or become combative, staff should immediately call for SPD. Calls for SPD assistance made in good faith and for the protection of patrons and neighbors alike, will not be counted against the establishment. Likewise, if you fail to call 911 to report a public safety incident you may be liable for that failure.
  • Major Events: Invest in your patrons’ safety; hire additional outside security when you plan major events involving larger than normal crowds. Also, report large scale events to SPD ahead of time and/or request more frequent patrols if you anticipate the need for increased crowd control outside your establishment.
  • SPD Trespass Agreement: You can request that SPD remove any problem offenders from your premises if you maintain a signed Trespass Agreement with the Seattle Police. This allows criminal charges to be filed if they return and are reported by you.
  • SPD Relations: Meet with SPD Precinct representatives as often as necessary to discuss operational issues, solutions to common problems, neighborhood trends, security concerns, etc.
  • Patron Removal Records: When at all possible, keep a record of patrons who are removed from your establishment, with photographs if possible.

Review: Definitions from Music Nightlife Handbook


A. "All-ages dance" means any public dance at (1) which persons under age
eighteen (18) years are allowed or permitted to attend or (2) at which each
patron is not required to show valid picture identification, showing that
patron's date of birth, as a condition of entry.

B. "All-ages dance venue" means any place or premises where an all-ages
dance is conducted or operated, including but not limited to all hallways,
bathrooms and other adjoining areas or the premises accessible to the public
during the dance.

C. A "concert" is any event at which live music is played or sung, and at
which the primary purpose of the person conducting or operating the event is
for patrons to view a musical performance.

D. A "dance" is any event at which the primary purpose of the person
conducting or operating the event is for patrons to dance as that term is
commonly defined. However, a "dance" shall not be defined to include an
event that is a "concert" as that term is defined by this chapter.

H. "On-site manager" is the person present at an all-ages dance or all-ages
dance venue who is responsible for the direct operation and oversight of the

J. "Public dance" means any dance that is readily accessible to the public.
dance or venue and supervision of other employees or workers.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Revised Abstract

Security is ubiquitous in events and functions. Live music, is no exception. With a significant proportion of live music happening in venues prohibited to the underage crowd (most places that serve alcohol, such as bars and clubs) there becomes a clear difference between “all-ages” events, attended by a predominately youth crowd, and non-“all-ages” events. Despite the differences in the characteristics of these two crowds, the approach to security does not consider these differences. Through an exploration of past incidents, existing security policy and crowd control related publications, and interviews with security personnel and audience members, this research identifies several key aspects in which the “all-ages” crowd is distinct. Implications of this difference will be reflected in recommendations that can be used to inform future security policy for “all-ages” events.

Considering: 2010 Honors Colloquium, applications due April 14.
Not sure if my project will be ready by May 13th though... thoughts?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Review: Music Nightlife Handbook

Things to consider from the handbook available here.

In August of 2006, the Seattle City Council passed an ordinance requiring all nightclubs (defined for this purpose as “any business open to the public in which liquor is served between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., except where service of liquor is incidental to an event that is not open to the public; and has a maximum occupancy capacity of two hundred (200) or more people”) to file a written Safety Plan with DEA. Ordinance Number: 122474

CONTACT: Rachel White to see if these Safety Plans (for venues that have all-ages shows) are open to public

Seattle nightlife Business technical assistance program at 206.684.8504

All-Ages Dance License
An All-Ages Dance License is required for anyone operating an all-ages dance of 250 or more patrons, and for all persons operating an all-ages dance venue. This license is not required when fewer than 250 patrons are admitted, or if the dance is sponsored by an accredited educational institution.

Performers as Employees
According to Washington State case law, any performers or DJs
contracted to provide a service in liquor establishments are considered
employees of the establishment and are therefore prohibited from
consuming alcohol while performing that service either on stage or in a
DJ booth.

Maintaining Safety & Security
Your best strategy for maintaining safety & security is to develop
and maintain a comprehensive risk management program and strategy.

The terms “safety” and “security” are often used interchangeably to describe the concept of protection from injury, danger and loss. However the practical applications of safety and security are guided by different principles in achieving this goal.

The provision of safety necessitates the prevention of potential risks and hazards through precautionary tactics. Safety measures often address environmental stimuli that may encourage excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, contribute to violent or aggressive behavior in patrons, or interfere with an economically viable business.

In contrast, security tactics can be characterized as more reactionary than precautionary in nature. The primary role of security staff within an establishment is usually to survey the crowd’s conduct and to confront intoxicated and/or aggressive patrons.

Generally, people act in a way that is irresponsible for one of three reasons: They don’t know the rules or boundaries; they know of but don’t know how to follow the rules or boundaries; or they know how but don’t care. Effective management requires an understanding of these basic principles and works to support all three types.

Ongoing training of service, security, and management staff is crucial to the effective implementation of policies and procedures. Selecting the proper training requires an understanding of risk, the level of training required, appropriateness of curriculum to the needs of the business, qualifications of the instructors, and the integrity of the agency or organization providing the training.

Hiring Off-Duty Seattle Police Officers
Department policy prohibits, under any circumstances, Seattle Police from working for or on behalf of establishments that sell or dispense intoxicating beverages. This policy is in place to prevent any actual or perceived conflicts of interest.

However, SPD recognizes that under certain conditions, the augmentation of on-duty officers with the presence and services of off-duty officers may enhance public safety in specific areas. Areas with a high concentration of liquor establishments have the opportunity to join together and work closely with SPD to provide additional security officers to specifically defined areas.

SPD may grant permits for the employment of off-duty SPD officers, in a secondary employment capacity, to business associations meeting eligibility requirements and agreeing to be bound by specific terms and conditions. Applications are considered on a case-by–case basis.

All-Ages Dance and Underage Performers

All-Ages Dance
If a liquor licensed premises is open to the public for food service, and not restricted to minors, minors must be off the entire premise after 11pm if there is live entertainment. If the liquor licensee obtains an exception to this restriction, through the WSLCB, then all-ages shows are permitted only when minors may not be present in or have access to any area where they have access to alcohol. There must be an established system for keeping alcohol away from minors - such as restricting alcohol service and consumption inside a lounge area, and not allowing it into the restaurant or live entertainment area.

For dedicated all-ages events or venues where no alcohol is served, performers of any age are allowed at all times during regular operating hours. The City of Seattle requires you to have a license for all-ages dance. See the ‘Special Licenses and Permits’ section of Section II.

Instituting a ‘no re-entry’ policy is strongly encouraged when holding all-ages events. This eliminates the possibility of underage patrons leaving, only to return intoxicated after consuming alcohol off-premises. You are still responsible for an intoxicated person on your premises, even if they drank outside. This includes an intoxicated minor on your premises during an all-ages event regardless of where that minor consumed the alcohol.

There are special concerns when a 21+ venue holds an all-ages show, and a special license is required as well. Consultations regarding all-ages events are encouraged and can be arranged through the Nightlife Technical Assistance Program. If you would like further information on policies and procedures for conducting all ages shows, including how to stage and monitor separation of 21+ from underage patrons, please contact the Film + Music Office at (206) 684-8504.

Underage Performers in 21+ establishments
Performers 18 and older are allowed to play in 21+ liquor licensed venues. State Law dictates that underage performers cannot be present in a venue where alcohol is being served at any time prior to their set, during breaks, or after playing their set.

Performers 17 and under are not allowed in 21+ venues to perform at any time for any reason (unless it is an all-ages show as explained above). The RCW addressing this issue can be found here

RCW 66.44.316 specifically provides:
"It is lawful for: (1) Professional musicians, professional disc jockeys, or professional sound or lighting technicians actively engaged in support of professional musicians or professional disc jockeys, eighteen years of age and older, to enter and to remain in any premises licensed under the provisions of Title 66 RCW, but only during and in the course of their employment as musicians, disc jockeys, or sound or lighting technicians;..."

Hiring underage musicians doesn’t have to be a hassle if you take a controlled approach. ID every band member and clearly stamp or wristband both 21+ and underage performers so staff can clearly identify them. You may be able to provide a designated area where there is no access to alcohol, but if that is not possible your staff will be able to easily recognize who should not be present in areas where alcohol is being served. Either way, be consistent in implementing your plan in order to remain in compliance with liquor laws.

CONTACT: Seattle Police Department Nightlife Security Training: Det. Bob Peth at or (206) 684-8661

People I might want to interview


most likely:
- JP, Vera
- Kevin, AMP
- somebody doing shaka training, 206 Zulu
- Stephanie, Ground Zero
- sound engineer, Vera
- show manager other than myself, Vera (if I can't do Stephanie)

- somebody, El Corazon
- somebody, Neumos
- somebody, Show box

- somebody, Security Training for NightLIFE Employees
- somebody, SPD/off-duty SPD

Monday, March 29, 2010

Things to consider from meeting with Dom

- how I communicate this will be as important as what I'm communicating.
- explain current role of youth involvement clearly (background), before explaining what I propose youth engagement in security will look like
- cite as much as I think is necessary for my audience-- no need for a legit works cited! :)

Work Plan for this quarter

4/04: Research & Interview outline done
4/05–4/30: Reading
& Interviewing
4/12: Research Update (blogged) & refined research plan
4/14: Presentations
4/21: Poster Templates Concept Crit
5/01: Research done
5/03: Interim Presentation #2
5/05: Poster Draft #1 Due
5/12: Jury Submissions Due
6/02: Final Presentation
6/07: Digital copies of presentations & posters due

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Interim Presentation

- Music is important.
- However, there is a subset of the population that is, in this society, barred from experiencing live music. Because a lot of live music happens in bars, and other venues that also serve alcohol and therefore are limited to those 21+, it discriminates against those under 21.
- One of the things that has happened in response, is the development of all-ages venues–spaces which are dedicated to providing a space for music to be experienced by people of all-ages, including the under 21 set.
- These all-ages spaces (often youth-focused spaces) face a lot of challenges, one of which is security.
- [insert my background]
- Two examples to illustrate what I mean by security issues:
- Vera no longer hosts high-school aged hip hop/club dances due to violence and gang concerns.
- [story of drunk girl in bathroom]
- The three questions I hope to address, through my experiences and talking with others that deal with this issue, and the three corresponding objects:
1. What characteristics make youth different from the standard crowd? Identify and define key differences between all-ages/youth-focused and standard events. (To develop something addressing this population, you need to first understand it)
2. What implications does these differences have on security issues? Discuss implications of the differences on security issues and policy.
3. How do you engage these very youth in these issues that impact them? Identify ways to engage youth in these very issues of security. (These youth-focused music scenes are often about empowerment and giving youth ownership. To be able to develop security recommendations that can be successfully implemented, you must have buy-in of the group you are trying to influence.)

Q & A
Q How do you anticipate design influencing the rest of your project, as you head into the final quarter?
A Focused less on tangible deliverable, but about a body of work that informs. Haven't thought much about the form of the tangible deliverable, but anticipates that the research to follow will inform the best form to deliver this research.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Poster feedback

Thanks Erin for the summary! It's a bit hard not being there to respond to it and asking you guys to imagine a bit of what the poster would look like because it's not complete yet, but I do appreciate the feedback and will actual read it over and respond tomorrow.

"-though as a class we were able to figure out the whole moat/castle thing, we felt that the imagery of fantasy and castles was a far stretch from what your project is actually about. We all thought it would be very relevant for your audience to see REAL pictures of what you're dealing with because those pictures definitely strike a chord in people (the one mentioned in class was the girl passed out in the bathroom and similar photos showing what youth concert security problems might actually look like because it's a strange concept to grasp right off otherwise).

-The title "Boy turned bouncer" confused us a bit. Some liked it because bouncers are supposed to be like big, mean people... but some thought there was too much of a disconnect.

-In terms of design and text, you have a definite title (Boy turned bouncer), but the subtitle, objectives, and quote at the top all seem to be fighting for the next most important spot. The class thought you had a lot of text in general and that one of these chunks of text could probably be taken out.

-Overall, the poster feels like you know what text you want, but you don't know what poster you want. You say here that your poster concept is to look like the sort of poster kids would be responding to today, so I want to see that! What do posters look like today? When I think of band posters, I usually image lots of textures, black background, and some sort of drippy logo thing. Hahaha. I think by coming up with a solid concept and making that FIRST, you can then apply the text and they will work more soundly."

Poster, in progress

I won't be in class tomorrow because I'll be in my last interview of the quarter! However, I'd appreciate any feedback on my poster.

I want to make it LOOK stylistically like a band/show poster, which I will illustrate over the weekend, but for now, I have the content mapped out. What I mean stylistically here. The visual concept will include a fantasy-style castle, surrounded by a moat (trying to get at ideas of security and bridging the gap... get it?)

"music has an abstract quality which speaks to a worldwide audience in a wonderful way that nourishes the soul." -Jim Henson

Like house parties, bars, galleries, and cafes for adults, youth music spaces are the places for young people to be social and mix their personal growth within the cultural context they are most comfortable with. Outside of these spaces, young people have few other venues to participate in music and art, develop leadership skills, and discover and define their cultural identity on their own terms.
- All-ages Movement Project

(Title) Boy Turned Bouncer
(Subtitle) Understanding issues of security in youth-focused live music spaces & how to engage youth in making it safe

1. Identify and define key differences between all-ages/youth‑focused and standard music events
2. Discuss implications of those differences on security issues & policies
3. Identify ways to engage youth in these ssues of security

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ponder this.

Ambitous and unrealistic thoughts on Poster, 12:34AM

I should silkscreen it!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

the extent of responsibility

Drunk drivers kill somebody? It's the bartender's fault so sue the bar too. For serving the driver too many drinks.

Somebody gets shot? It's the club down the street's fault. Nevermind the fact that they left the club already.

To what extent are venues liable for things that happen outside their space? IMO, probably more than they should be. Yet in this sue-happy society, no man (women, or child) are ever held liable for anything if they could merely place the blame on something or someone else.

What are the implications for venues that are youth oriented? I'm not sure. It's never far from the front of our minds though.

I remember when a shooting happened at that night club just-east-of-Seattle-Center-and-does-some-under-21-events-but-keeps-changing-names-because-they-keep-getting-in-trouble-and-shutting-down. Although Vera is located on the other side of Seattle Center, there was a bit of worry that the trouble happening over there would be tied to our name somehow. Finger pointing is often not pointed in the right direction.

Last night, when I was locking up after a show, some of the last stranglers from my volunteer crew were dispersing into the dark streets. A clump were off to another show, but one was heading home, catching the 358 on Aurora. And I couldn't help but wonder if they would be ok. And if not, would it be my fault?

I might just be getting old. I was in exactly their shoes a few years back. I don't doubt some of the show mangers back in those days had some of the same thoughts I'm having now. Those kids are our responsibility when they're at Vera, but are they our responsibility once they walk out our doors?

Research into best practices in related fields

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


The relative youth of intentionally using popular music and culture to engage youth partially explains why there is little literature that specifically documents and evaluates these organizations role in the nonprofit, youth development, education, public health, civic engagement landscape, or the music industry. Fortunately, this trend is shifting as the nascent field of cultural organizing is being further developed and explored.
- AMP's findings, 2006

Sunday, February 28, 2010

typical cases

While waiting to get in touch with the people I need, I've been looking into what literature exist already...

I've noticed a couple major problems scenes of live music:

People sometimes do "stupid" stuff because it's "fun." People in charge don't want to limit "fun" too much because otherwise nobody would come and they wouldn't make $.
However, they don't want anyone to die other... so there are security folks. They catch crowdsurfers before they get on stage, and pull out the people up front that are getting smushed to death because they didn't know what they were getting themselves into.

It happens; Famous incidents (Shyne/Puffy/Lopez) and locally.

Interestingly, at least in the Seattle scene recently, there's been quite a few. Most notable, those "club nights" that are 18+ and not only 21+. Why are these events the ones that are problematic? Gangs. By drawing 16+ or 18+, they are also drawing in a gang related crowd. We've seen this happen at Vera too. That's why we're not doing any dance events until we do a comprehensive re-evaluation of our capabilities and understand fully the scope of the problem we're dealing with.


FOR ME: Couldn't yet find any work published on the type of scene I'm leaning more towards, so this could be a very interesting space to produce some work on.

Tsunami problems

No progress due to tsunami in Hawaii. Yes really. That somebody I need to talk to about my project but couldn't talk to til Tuesday... well the tsunami is keeping him over in hawaii for a bit longer, so until then...

Monday, February 22, 2010


It's looking pretty short, so if anybody has some feedback on it, it'd be greatly appreciated.

Security is ubiquitous in events and functions. Live music, is no exception. With a significant proportion of live music happening in venues prohibited to the underage crowd (most places that serve alcohol, such as bars and clubs) there becomes a clear difference between all-ages, predominately youth, events and non-all-ages/youth events. Despite the differences in the characteristics of all-ages, predominately youth crowds, the approach to security does not consider these differences. This research identifies several key aspects in which all-ages/youth events differ from non-all-ages/youth events, and the implications on security policy. This work can be used to inform future security policy regarding all-ages, predominately youth events.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Design + Business

I think I've always been struggling with trying to combine design & business into something I want to do.

I've already decided against being in-house designer. Then I've decided against traditional "doing" design. I thought about PM in ad agencies. I thought about brand strategy.

Now I'm thinking about consulting.

During my interview with Accenture, I was explaining how awesome design studies is, and talking about problem-solving vs. problem-finding, and how complicated questions have simple answers. The Sr. Manager said, "like 42?"

Yes. Exactly. Perfect analogy. Consultants get it too.

So there you have it, consultants are like DSers tackling business problems.

Narrowing down

1. type of event/crowd
Different age groups act differently.

4. intoxicated patrons
Drunk adults at least can legally be drunk, but what do you do with drunks under 21?
why not consider drug use too? if it's illegal, its illegal for both the over-21 and under-21 crowd-- no differences to be explored.

6. handling of physical disturbances
Ideally, issues would be handled before the become violent.

Protocol versus human morals:
teen getting beat up while 3 security men watch

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Things to consider in security policy

Not (yet) a comprehensive list, but it's a start:

1. type of event/crowd
2. number/positions of security personnel
3. unruly patrons
4. intoxicated patrons
5. when to involve police
6. handling of physical disturbances
7. prohibited items (and what isn't allow but can be check at front desk)
8. evacuation plan
9. Documentation/incident reports

Sunday, February 14, 2010

realization of limitations

So the estimated timeline on the security policy development of Vera with 206 Zulu is looking a bit out of scope for my project. It's expected to take about a year, and that doesn't even count the educational componets to be developed afterward.

talk to Josh some more about what and if there is something I can do for my capstone that would lend itself well into the larger picture....

Friday, February 12, 2010


So rather than finishing up and publishing the blog post I have sitting in "draft" right now, I'm getting somewhere on my quest of developing a better articulation of myself.

I (funny enough, am actually at work, procrastinating on my project) and was doing a bit of reading into INTJs, and hoping to find strategies of putting my Myers-Briggs personality type to work for me in some productive manner.

Discovery: there's a term for my procrastination!

I am a structured procrastinator.
The key idea is that procrastinating does not mean doing absolutely nothing. Procrastinators seldom do absolutely nothing; they do marginally useful things, like gardening or sharpening pencils or making a diagram of how they will reorganize their files when they get around to it. Why does the procrastinator do these things? Because they are a way of not doing something more important.
Procrastinators often follow exactly the wrong tack. They try to minimize their commitments, assuming that if they have only a few things to do, they will quit procrastinating and get them done. But this goes contrary to the basic nature of the procrastinator and destroys his most important source of motivation. The few tasks on his list will be by definition the most important, and the only way to avoid doing them will be to do nothing. This is a way to become a couch potato, not an effective human being.
This explains why I insist on "doing too much" and why I don't "do anything" between Thursday night and Sunday evening, yet pull all-nighters in the middle of the week.

Last thought on this topic:
As for life in general, I think my problem is that I tend to plan things out in my head too much so that by the time it comes to do something I can't be bothered doing it because I've over-thought it and am now bored of it, or I don't want to be disappointed with how the reality compares to the perfect image in my head. It's why I put off watching films that I'm really looking forward to and doing things that I really want to do. Reality is so much less perfect, much less controllable and certainly more hard work than life in my head.
SO TRUE. This is probably why I'm not really getting anywhere on my capstone yet, although I've thought about it a lot. And explains all these "somewhere topic related but not really and I'll admit it" blog posts I've been putting up over the last couple weeks...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

going forward from interim presentation

I proposed 4 directions:
1. paths of engagement at Vera
2. hosting dance events
3. making use of volunteers at AMP
4. all-ages music profitability

The two that resonated most were:
2. security, hosting dance events
ACTION: develop strategy for security management
- define something that can be scaled
- create something distributable
- through interviewing bouncers and professionals as well
CONSIDER: Adults going to events/venues merely get ids checked to prove they can be there, ie 21+. If they end up getting into a fight or what not, then its their problem. However, imagine the same thing, except instead of an adult, we have a 16 year old. Suddenly, the liability and blame if anything goes wrong is the responsibility of the venue.
ACTION: map differences and similarities of adult vs. youth relationship to venue(s)
- potential issues due to size
- differences in types, ie concerts vs. festivals
- models for how security issues arise due to various variables
- formalize categories

3. making use of volunteers at AMP

Monday, February 8, 2010

Case Study: The Capitol Hill Massacre

[wiki article here]

Who: 28-year-old Kyle Aaron Huff
What: shooting, killing six and wounding two
When: Saturday, March 25, 2006
Where: rave after party on Capitol Hill
Why: ?

The teen dance ordinance must be re-examined as our community takes a variety of necessary steps to better protect vulnerable teenagers and young adults.
[click here for editorial]

"This is not about music, this is not about a party. This was about a guy who decided he was going to kill people and he had the firepower to do it," Nickels said.
[article here]

Take Aways:
  • People are quick to blame the law and regulation, or lack thereof, regardless of evidence
  • Once again, with the "vulnerable teenagers and young adults"... I discussed this topic in an earlier post.

Bit of History

The Teenage Dance Ordinate:
  • 1985-2002
  • Age limits: Underage dances (allowing those under 18 to attend) may only admit patrons age 15-20 unsupervised. Anyone younger would require a parent or guardian chaperone, anyone older would need to accompany a youth under 18.
  • Security requirement: Two off-duty officers were required on premises, with one off-duty officer outside to patrol the area.
  • Insurance: $1,000,000 in liability insurance;
Exemptions: Non-profits and schools were exempt from these restrictions.

Also, any event with dancing was considered a dance.

Excluding adults from underage youth would create a "bubble of safety.

The "new" All Ages Dance Ordinate:
[click here for full text]
  • replaced the Teenage Dance Ordinate
  • a definition of a dance as an event where dancing is the primary activity intended
  • allowing all-ages events to occur absent any alcohol served
  • requiring only the requesting of off-duty officers at an event, to be granted by the Seattle Police Guild
  • elimination of the $1 million insurance requiremen

Better? Yes. Good enough? Nope.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


PDZ: Why is the underground so important to you?

Natron: Culturally speaking, it's the purest form of human creativity and perseverence. Once you start to grasp how far-reaching the 'underground' is and how many like-minded people there are out there doing really amazing things, ultimately similar things to what you are doing, you then realize just how important the underground scene is. It's like a comforting amoeba that's constantly being fed, and as a result things are always changing and fresh ideas are getting churned out in an almost cyclistic fashion. It's funny because as I type this, I hear an ad for the new John Mayer album playing on the TV in the background. There is a man that's coming from a world that is the exact polar opposite of what's happening in the DIY/underground scene right now here in America and around the world. Thinking about that, I can't help but wonder what kind of scene John Mayer came from.

Anyway, the DIY or 'underground' scene has pretty much changed my life, as well as changed my outlook on music, the industry, and so many other things. I believe that it's one of the most important things that we have in the world, culturally. I don't believe that the DIY approach to things will ever die, because it comes so natural to us. Humans will never lose their inate and instinctual thirst to create and construct. As long as we never lose that, the 'underground' will always live on.
Lastly, I truly believe that, in the end, it may just save us all.

When I first started doing this, it was simply for the love of music. Though it didn't take long for me to realize the positive impact we could have on the community, and I have always tried to make sure that we are constantly lifting up these amazing local institutions that are doing amazing things in the community, and really putting the spotlight on them. We are a CommUNITY, and the only way we are going to survive and get by is by taking care of each other.

House Of Zanzibar

Challenges of non-profits

1. Talent & Human Capital: a lot of the talent end up where the money is, and that is most definitely not at a non-profit.

2. Inadequate numbers of employees and volunteers

3. $

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Only because you treat them as such

Early in the last century an idea was popularized: teens were classified as “adolescents,” not as adults, as had previously been the case. As Dr. Robert Epstein has shown, in his convincing book, The Case Against Adolescence, the result of this infantilization has been almost wholly negative. We segmented teens away from adults, meaning their socialization into the adult world is delayed by years. This age compartmentalization continues until they graduate college, or graduate school. Often this results in physically mature adults acting emotionally like children much of the time. Since their socialization was continually in the hands of their peers they didn’t experience anything else.

In the past, many teens entered the workforce and quickly interacted with adults of all ages and ranks. Instead of being surrounded by their peers they were surrounded by experienced adults who were capable, through instruction and example, to show them how responsible, mature adults behave. It doesn’t take much reading of history to discover that teens of previous centuries, who accomplished great things, never realized they were supposed to act just like “big children.”

Even now, in college, we are definitely allowed to get away with things that we really should not...For example, I'm sure you've heard...

"It's not alcoholism until you're out of college."
"It's ok to be broke because you're a college student."

Can we stop treating perfectly capable human beings like little kids now? Thanks.

Another article here.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Vote in support of all-ages music!

So many great causes in the world, it's no wonder our generation appears less into activism than the previous.

actual mapping

[Diagram has changed, will post updated one]

Realizations while doing this:
- Definitely staying away from the "underground"
- I actually don't know the legal status of a lot of places, nor have I really cared to.

power of community

Another example:

Defining the Underground

Definitions are helpful, but mine are for now, a work in progress, a list of characteristics which may or may not be exclusive for all that function within under/above ground spaces...

Lack of mainstream appeal
Lack of visibility
Lack of commercialization
Subversive values


Another analogy

Taking the assumptions that the 21+ drinking restriction is the a part of the problem, is there a space that a music venue is similar to, but differs in regards to drinking?

A music venue is like a sports stadium.
Both are spaces in which live performances take place. Spectators are people of all ages, including youth of all ages. Alcohol is present and flowing (almost) freely.

Innings = baseball
Quarters =football
Sets = music

People can (usually) come and go from their seats during game and move around the stadium, just like people can come and go from the showroom and venue during a show.

Perhaps an in-depth study can indicate there the differences are in practice between these two and how we can learn from stadiums to change policy on music.

About the teen dance ordinate of Seattle.


From class:

Youth in the music scene is like the kid who can't get onto a rollar coaster because s/he's too short.
Age, like height, is something outside one's control, and used as a measure of determining what is and what is not allowable. So what happens to kids who are defined as too short? There are kiddy coasters! This only serves to separate this population from everybody else-- they can either not go on a rollar coaster, or go on this kid version, either way they are denied access to a real rollar coaster. Similarly, for those under 21, there are occasional 18+ or all ages events. However, since most people are not under 21, this other-ized crowd is shut out from access to music.

Height is a safety issue because rollar coasters were not designed to accomedate people of all sizes. Why not? Because it is expensive; higher costs = less profits. Similarly, why arn't there more not-exclusive to 21+ shows? It's expensive and less profits. Most profits come from the bar, and since those under 21 are not allowed to purchase alcohol in this country, the more under-21-ers allowed in, the less you make in alcohol profit. Also, with the laws surrounding "all=ages events," at least in Seattle, it requires additional measures, like large insurance policy and extra security. These extra expenses decrease profits.

Summary: It is economically disincentive for all-ages music.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A visual understanding, week 4

From an earlier post:
- plot examples onto spaces in this map (ACTION ITEM FOR MONDAY)

One of the things I hope to do with my capstone, regardless of what I research is to inform some opportunity for change. I believe one of the best ways of change is through the actions of individuals. So most of my thoughts and diagrams will include the role of the self in hopes of identifying problem spaces I can address with my capstone that will produce value immediately due to its accessibility and actionability.

So I want to examine and map out the role of the self, or any individual:
- by "social space" I mean physical space

Continuing with the dichotomy of self vs. other (not self), I attempted to illustrate how things (messages, actions, paths of engagement) are interpreted through reputation, one's view of other's and other's view of one's. I need to think a bit more about this, but I think this could help examine the question of how things stay legit, especially in terms of movement from under--> above-ground.

I found this chart, which is interesting in terms of particpation & scenes/communities:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

bits of interest

Stumbled across this, which I think is quite interesting in itself...
Click here to visit their site and figure out what it is.

an example

From an email I received earlier today...

Visqueen are shooting a music video for their new album, Message to Garcia, and they need excited extras! If you haven't heard Visqueen before, think power-pop along the lines of the Breeders - http://www.myspace. com/visqueen. They're super great people and have played Vera many times in the past, and the ladies directing/producing are friends of mine who do awesome work.

The shoot is SATURDAY JANUARY 30th at 4PM on Capitol Hill (hint: it's at an all-ages venue), with food and drinks for everyone (no alcohol!).

If you can commit to being there from 4pm to around 9pm, please email hellovisqueen@ by noon on Saturday for directions and up-to-date information on the shoot. You're also welcome to bring friends, or forward this to someone who would love to be in it!
Did you see the hint?

This is the sort of thing I mentioned in an earlier post on ethics. So there.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Sunday, January 24, 2010

attempt one

Dominic, I'm still not getting (and need help with) these what/how/why things...

Attempting to illustrate the intersections of society and music in relation to above and underground:

One of the intersting "whys" was "sense of belonging" so I figured I'd examine that as a question of "insider"/"outsider"...

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Finally got my hands on the proof of In Every Town: an all-ages music manualfesto, which is still waiting for grant money to get printed (I got my fingers crossed for the Pepsi grant.) I can't leave Vera with it, so I'll skim through as much as I can...

Interesting notes from the skimming...

"Youth Involvement by default and by design" is the subheading of page 63

Chapter 4: "Democratize It Yourself: Organizational Structures" discusses various organizational and decision-making structures, as well as legal status and their pros & cons.

In the section about 924 Gilman on page 108 "The sun backlit people walking in and moving around me as if I were an inanimate object rather than a curious and semi-lost-looking person standing in the middle of the room. This is how it has been walking into most volunteer-run spaces--it's no one's job to greet you and help you feel like you fit in. No one is tasked with the jon of encouraging you to participate. You have to do it yourself."
& Brian Edge put together a documentation/book 924 Gilman: The Story so Far documenting 78 stories of people + Gilman

Subtitled on page 114 "Under the Surface: Conflict resolution and self-governance" tells a story about sexual violence, safety, and the reactive steps of the Gilman community. Similar issue was addressed recently in the Seattle scene too...

Favorite line from page 115 "a longtime volunteer says emphatically, "If anyone has a problem with Gilman, they can get involved and change it."

Page 181, "Local Seattle music became more fashionable and Vera became more well-known but also sort of detached from our underlying ethics of DIY. At the end of the year, the radio station gave $70,000 to Vera and decided to cancel the local show and fire the DJ's - because, no matter how cool it was, local music just wasn't bringing in the dough."

Under Chapter 5, a subheading "The Legitimacy Question." It brings up a couple issues "in figuring out whether to be legit or not." Accessibility, risk, alcohol, local scene, zoning and permitting, flexibility, longevity.

"Social and cultural change are interrelated. Engaging in a cultural practice humanizes people for each other." -Katy Otto

Tomorrow, I'll map out all my thoughts and see where that gets me.


I'm somewhere lost between Antonio Gramsci's theory of cultural hegemony & a self-identity crisis brought on by skimming parts of Research Youth by Andy Bennett, Mark Cieslik, Steven Miles.

Resistance, then, was understood by the CCCS as the obvious reaction of young people to their social positioning. But were these rituals what the young people actually did, or were they representations of what the young people did as seen through the eyes of social scientists? Questions like these were rarely asked, let along answered.
- Ben Malbon, in Clubbing: dancing, ecstasy and vitality
I'm feeling quite off track... what are we suppose to be doing with these capstones again?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


This afternoon, I met with my new mentor, Joseph, who is working on business development at TeachStreet. He talked about what he does, I talked about what I'm studying.

"Business and design," I say.
"Oh what concentration?" he asked.
"Marketing," I reply.
He nods.
"What do you study in design?" he asks.

I always dread this question. Most people assume I'm studying fashion, for some reason. Interior design is a close second. Graphics, a third.

Each time I attempt to explain what "design studies" is, I come up with something different. So I plunge into another explanation, throwing around words like "interdisciplinary" and "process." He pokes and prods at my explanation, determined to understand what I was trying to explain.

I pull up thoughts from August's class last quarter: The simple questions, have the most complex answers. The complex questions, have simple answers.

He wonders about it in relation to the UX design, which is what he's encountered at his startup. I struggle to explain how all design should be addressing a problem, in some form or another.

"It's about problem-finding," I explain.

And he gets it. "Never thought about design that way before," he tells me, "but it makes sense."

Finally. It makes sense to me too. Sort of.

This role of manager as designer is hardly mentioned in the literature, and barely acknowledged in business practice. ...Managers practice "silent design"...the many decisions taken by non-designers who enter directly into the design process, no matter how unaware they or others may be of their impact.
— Angela Dumas and Henry Mintzberg, Managing the Form, Function, and Fit of Design, 1991