Context

This intervention is part of my thesis and is an attempt at applying feedforward design theory in the service of promoting mindfulness:

The term “feedforward” formalizes the body of research regarding anticipatory cues and suggests it as a way in which design can foster intended emotive learning for lifestyle change […] Designed conditions that support the anticipatory process of emotive learning may enable participants to change deep-seated biases and experience enduring lifestyle change”
– Howard, Amber Kristine. Feedforward: A Mobile Design Strategy that Supports Emotive Learning for Preventive Health Practices and Enduring Lifestyle Change

This inspiration for the project also came from a personal place. After having spent 17 days on Denali this past summer carrying all of my non-biodegradable waste I had a visceral idea of just the amount of trash I produce.

Process

The stickers were designed around the New York city design vocabulary developed over the last half century, simple, clear, legible white or black type on an oppositely colored background. The stickers were printed and cut at Smudge.

Photo Oct 01, 3 59 23 PM
Photo Oct 01, 4 28 34 PM
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More than 500 Landfill labels were placed on public and private “trash” receptacles around New York city.

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Trash
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Impact

This project surfaced for me the difficulty in assessing the impact on public consciousness of urban interventions. My initial tendency was to call these projects “experiments” because of their knowledge-discovery, inquisitive nature, however, given the lack of quantitative data collection, this term feels inaccurate; more like the way a designer would describe “ethnography” than true science. So for now, I’ll call them interventions, but hopefully future projects will involve more rigorous data collection. Stay posted!

Credits

Nimrat Brar, inspiration and sticker; Lenny at Smudge, printer.

[back to thesis]