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?