What happens when you stick a bunch of designers and creative professionals in a room full of high school students? AlleyNYC members found out this May, and the results were stunning.

Art In Your Space partnered with AlleyNYC to bring students from City-As-School to the midtown co-working space and design an interactive photobooth installation in just 7 weeks. Aimed at engaging non-traditional students who left high school, the STEM-focused (science, tech, engineering, math) pilot program offers a hands-on learning experience beyond the walls of the classroom.

 

The premise is simple: match students with designers and creative professionals who will encourage them to take responsibility and execute on their ideas. For this task, 18 students were asked to create an interactive photo booth for their clients –members of the AlleyNYC space, which included Android app designers, training data scientists, and social change advocates.

The Art In Your Space design team met twice weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays, visiting AlleyNYC five times over the course of 7 weeks. During these visits, AlleyNYC staff helped students to tackle their design while students observed and documented the activities of the workplace to determine what was needed for the space.

Throughout the process of discovery, students were exposed to various technologies, including 3D printed images of members in chocolate, capturing work activities using drones flying overhead and attaching mini-cameras to member’s clothing (think Go-Pro for the modern work space). At the end of their observation period, the students pitched concepts to members of AlleyNYC, who gave feedback the students used to refine their ideas until they arrived at the “Selfie Stand.”

The” Selfie Stand” is a fun and interactive experience where visitors take pictures and choose from a series of custom filters. The booth can also be moved, which makes it ideal for use at parties.

 

After 7 weeks and a successful build, the students invited the community to get to know their “Selfie Stand” at an event that drew designers, parents, teachers, representatives from the NYC Department of Education programs Digital Ready and iZone, and the educational director of Eyebeam. As part of the evening, students answered questions from the crowd about how the project was built and the lessons they learned.

Thanks to all who supported these students and a special nod to AlleyNYC’s staff and members who gave students feedback, spoke about their career paths and shared insights into what it takes to be successful in art and technology careers.

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