What does it mean to apply "design thinking" to issues as complicated as housing inequities, and in such entrenched institutions as our court system? In this course, architecture students from Wentworth Institute of Technology and law students from Northeastern University [both in Boston] will work together to research, identify, frame, and propose solutions to issues they uncover in the processes surrounding housing court and in the physical space of the court itself. Working with the generous cooperation of Massachusetts Housing Court and the NuLawLab, students will carefully consider the diverse users of the space and legal system, the financial implications of their ideas, and the logistical nature of making physical and/or logistical interventions in the highly regulated, and possibly contentious, spaces found in court buildings. This course will be highly interactive, combining lecture, workshop, and field-learning formats, and is appropriate for students interested in the impact of design thinking and training outside the bounds of traditional practice, design-build, and community engagement.
This blog is a record of students' experiences in this course, reveals the process of collaborative and cross-disciplinary design thinking leading to tangible results, and supports the ultimate aim of gaining funding to continue the project with additional partners and at a larger scale.