Design Week 2022: Designing Human-Centered Cities


Join us for our 4th annual Design Week, a week of free talks, workshops, and an interactive installation focused on a critical aspect of design. One of our core themes at the Design Lab in the NYU MakerSpace is following an innovation design process, which encourages collaboration through community building and keeping people at the center of design. Design Week 2022 is focused on designing human-centered cities. Increasing populations and densification are two of the most complex issues within cities today. As a result, engineers, architects, urban planners, and designers alike must come together to create holistic, real-life solutions across all scales and design with the future in mind. Throughout Design Week 2022, we will work to answer the following question: how might we reimagine spaces within cities to be more equitable and inclusive?

Design Week Events

Designing Human-Centered Cities: Remixing Reality
AR Workshop with Miriam Hillawi

Monday, February 14  |  5-7PM  |  Virtual  |  Open to the Public

In this online workshop, you will explore ways of using augmented reality to intervene in urban environments. You can choose to approach your designs from purposeful worldbuilding, critical angle of countermemory or even a destructive method that reimagines a new reality in place of the old. The workshop will focus on constructing and deploying animated Marker-less AR filters in world space. A Q&A session will follow the workshop.


Miriam Hillawi Abraham, Multi-Disciplinary Designer and Artist

Miriam Hillawi Abraham is a multi-disciplinary designer from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. With a background in Architecture, she works with digital media and spatial design to interrogate themes of equitable futurism and intersectionality. She holds an MFA in Interaction Design from the California College of the Arts and a BArch in Architecture from the Glasgow School of Art. She is a CCA-Mellon researcher for the Digital Now multidisciplinary project, a 2020 fellow of Gray Area’s Zachary Watson Education Fund and a Graham Foundation 2020 grantee.

Instagram: @miru_h

Designing Human-Centered Cities: Laser Cut City
Interactive Installation

Tuesday, February 15  |  12-6PM  | In-Person at the NYU MakerSpace DesignLab  |  NYU Affiliates Only

Join us at the NYU MakerSpace Design Lab to make our very own human-centered city! You will have the opportunity to contribute to an exciting laser-cut city by customizing a miniature figure that will be placed around the model. The model itself will feature creative elements to represent a city including skyscrapers, basketball courts, trees, lamp posts, phone booths, benches, and more! The installation will be featured throughout Design Week 2022 to highlight the power of unity as a force for change in designing more equitable and inclusive cities. 

As an attendee, you will also get to view an exclusive exhibit featuring a series of preserved archives of the Downtown Brooklyn area from the 1900s. The exhibit will feature historical items including images of MetroTech, housing quality maps, a newspaper article from the Polytechnic University (now NYU Tandon), and architectural drawings. All participants will receive a sweet treat!

Designing Human-Centered Cities: People in Motion
Chat with Inbar Kishoni from Citi Bike

Wednesday, February 16  |  6PM-7PM  | Virtual  |  Open to the Public

How do people experience cities through space and time? What does safety look like for all types of populations? Within the scope of designing cities, what does equity and inclusivity mean? The answer to these questions depends entirely on who is being asked. As leaders in design, it is critical to consider multiple perspectives when we create cities, places, and products and to develop modes of participation that aren't just inclusive, but elevate the voices of those that are most underserved.

In this guest lecture, participants will have the opportunity to hear from the Community & Equity Program Manager on Lyft’s CitiBike team, Inbar Kishoni. After spending more than 11 years at the NYC Department of Transportation, she now works on increasing access to the Citi Bike system for New York City’s most-underserved populations. To provide insight on ways to increase mobile equity within the very city that NYU students call home, Inbar will share both her perspective and experience within the urban planning and transportation sectors.


Inbar Kishoni, Community & Equity Program Manager at Lyft’s Citi Bike

Inbar Kishoni is on a mission to improve the conversations decision makers have with the people they serve. As the Community & Equity Program Manager on Lyft’s Citi Bike team, she works on increasing access to the Citi Bike system for the City’s most-underserved populations. Included in her portfolio are programs that encourage CBOs to put on community-based bike rides, a partnership with Achilles International to provide adaptive bicycles for people with disabilities, and the Reduced Fare Bike Share program, which grants $5/month memberships to NYCHA residents, SNAP recipients, and members of select Community Development Credit Unions.

Designing Human-Centered Cities: Navigation
Chat with Rachel Inman from Google Maps

Thursday, February 17  | 5-6PM  |  Virtual  |  Open to the Public

In this guest lecture, participants will receive a behind-the-scenes look at the design and development of the Google Maps features that aim to put people first. This includes how the Google Maps team uncovered ways to help travelers as they explore unfamiliar areas, let people know where to find LGBTQ+ friendly places, and make it easier to navigate on foot in cities. This lecture will cover how the team approached the design process and advice for others looking to design similar digital experiences for out-and-about discovery and navigation.

This event will feature Rachel Inman, a UX Design Lead at Google and someone who brings human-centered design expertise, deep cross-functional collaboration, and inspired vision to an array of complex problem spaces -- taking features and products from whiteboard to reality. Attendees will hear from Rachel about her first-hand experience as a designer for an application that plays a prominent role in the way people navigate cities around the world.


Rachel Inman, UX Design Lead at Google

Rachel Inman is a NYC-based UX Design Lead at Google where she drives innovative projects across Google Maps. She's currently leading a team of designers, prototypers, researchers, and writers in designing new search and explore experiences for Google Maps. Prior to that, she led a multidisciplinary design team in developing and launching Google Maps Live View: a first-of-its-kind augmented reality walking navigation experience. 

Website:  |  Twitter: @rachel_inman  |  LinkedIn: Rachel Inman,

Designing Human-Centered Cities: Evolution of MetroTech
The Archives with Lindsay Anderberg, Interdisciplinary Science & Technology Librarian at Bern Dibner Library

Friday, February 18  |  4-5PM  | In-Person at the NYU MakerSpace DesignLab  |  NYU Affiliates Only

This workshop will feature archival materials from the Poly Archives related to the planning and design of MetroTech Center (late 1980s - early 1990s). Workshop participants will view a variety of formats including photographs, maps, architectural renderings, sites plans, and a three dimensional model. Using the archival materials as our foundation, we'll explore the ways in which MetroTech developed, discuss social and economic impacts, and ultimately consider how our built environment, which seems so stable, is rife with conflict, choices, and change. We will also feature former Tandon student Joel Ureña's (IDM '20) senior design project, which used images from the Poly Archives.


Lindsay Anderberg, Interdisciplinary Science & Technology Librarian & Poly Archivist at Bern Dibner Library

Lindsay Anderberg is the Interdisciplinary Science & Technology Librarian and Poly Archivist at Bern Dibner Library. As the Poly Archivist, she maintains collections regarding Tandon's precursor institution, Brooklyn Polytechnic, from its founding in 1845 until its merger with NYU in 2014.

NYU MakerSpace & Design Lab

NYU MakerSpace

The NYU Tandon MakerSpace is a cutting edge lab that aims to foster collaborative design projects. It features rapid prototyping and PCB production equipment, as well as advanced machining and testing capabilities. The MakerSpace hosts the Design Lab which provides NYU students with opportunities to ideate, experiment, prototype, and build their ideas. It nurtures their creative confidence, encourages collaboration, and connects them with other parts of the NYU Innovation and Entrepreneurship ecosystem, thus fostering a community of creative technologists, critical thinkers, and social innovators. It highlights new kinds of iterative, interdisciplinary teamwork using cutting-edge tools of rapid prototyping and digitally driven production.