code. art. new york.
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Design for UNICEF : Urbanization



design thinking | doing good | web | prototype proposal


To design a design proposal for UNICEF's Office of Innovation,
in an effort to introduce strategies
to counter the effects of urbanization


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To design a research-oriented design proposal for UNICEF's Office of Innovation, as an effort to introduce solutions to combat social problems.

ROLE : Concept, Research, User Interviews

TEAM : Utsav Chadha, Jixuan Sun, Kenzo Nakamura and Danni Huang

PRESENTED AT : UNICEF, 3 United Nations Plaza, NY

unicef.png is a design proposal for an online framework.

The framework facilitates  local leaders and community organizations to aggregate data, analyze research and reach out to decision makers convincingly and professionally.

This was a team effort that was conducted between March 2017 and May 2017, in association with UNICEF Office of Innovation. The proposal was delivered under guidance and supervision from Christopher Fabian and Benedetta Piantella.




One third of the world's urban population currently lives in poverty. Over more than 25% of the urban population in developing countries and more than 50% of the urban population in most African nations lives below the poverty line.

Urban Poverty

The numbers for NYC are lower, however what’s concerning is that these numbers are highly concentrated in neglected or underserved neighborhoods. Although numbers may vary, the reasons that lead to these problems don’t.

Focus Areas

Three major causes of urbanization are overpopulation, lack of resources and government neglect. These causes provide us insight into the focus areas which are infrastructure, basic services, transportation, violence and hazards, and connectivity.


Urban Population Growth

Urban population has been rapidly growing over the past decades and it's bound to grow more rapidly as per the estimates by the World Bank.



The project proposal was designed for New York City, before it could be repurposed for smaller cities or developing countries. In order to gain more context into the problem, we conducted interviews with some prominent organizations who are trying to solve the problem of urbanization.

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" Reliable and structured data is the key. Data plays a significant role in emphasis and prioritization of problems."

— Director, Data Innovation


" A formalized design research framework has allowed an inexperienced research team to uncover beneficial insights about our community."

               — Director, Cultural Development


"Make sure you confirm qualitatively what the data is suggesting."

— Citizens' Committee for Children



The user interviews led us to approaching a data-driven approach for the urbanization challenge.

"How can we use data to help local community organizations identify and tackle their most pressing problems?"



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Some questions that we raised when we started prototyping were as follows:

What tools will the user need?

How can those tools be organized into a seamless workflow?

How can the tools assist the user to shape their research and plan of action?

How can the platform help users reach out?


Meeting notes #1

Meeting notes #2





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