Design / Transportation

This new meetup is asking if you can design a better DC Metro

June 21 is the launch of UNLEADED, a meetup for local designers and design thinkers.

It’s hard to not worry about how you’re going to get where you need to go while Metro’s SafeTrack surges continue to force people to think of other modes of transportation, with closings already underway.
D.C. designer Carla Uriona decided to be part of a solution when she released her own helpful visualization.
Now a couple of other designers from the area want to tackle the issue with the first meeting of a meetup they’re launching June 21 at the WeWork Wonder Bread Factory that asks one not-so-simple question: “Can you design a better metro?”
The meetup group is called UNLEADED, and it is a “space for creative and innovative individuals who are passionate about using design to make a positive impact,” according to the site. It’s being started by Melanie Charlton, cofounder and creative director of creative digital agency Brllnt, and Maia Sciupac, who heads her own innovation consulting firm, Create&.
Michael Eichler, a WMATA strategic planning advisor, will be at the first meeting to talk about the current challenges the transit agency is facing. That kicks off the hands-on portion where attendees will break up into groups and come up with an idea of how they could re-design a better Metro experience, which they’ll then pitch, Sciupac told in an email.
“For me, I wanted to launch a design thinking meetup, because I feel the principles of human centered design are so relevant to solving complex problems and implementing innovative solutions,” Sciupac added.
Charlton, who received a “Powerful Women in Design Award” from DCFemTech earlier this year, detailed in a Medium post how she felt that the DMV area, while thriving with meetups focused on women developers, lacked more groups for designers.
“By adding UNLEADED to the mix, we create a regular, monthly event that builds on the traditional design meetup format,” Charlton wrote. “We go beyond creating an inspirational space; we create a participatory one.”
So far the meetups are scheduled for every third Tuesday of the month, and Charlton and Sciupac seem to have the next few months already planned. Next month will feature a discussion on homelessness with the founder of Cake Brigade, an organization that bakes and delivers birthday cakes to shelters in the D.C. area.
You can also keep up with the UNLEADED discussion by signing up for the group’s Slack.

Companies: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority / DCFemTech / WeWork

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