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!