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Goings-on in our organization and in our community


It’s Agncy’s 5th birthday!

What are you enjoying working on / thinking about / reading about these days?
  • “Mechanical cards and interactive mail
  • Making my way around every part of Boston on bike
  • Cat x cardboard”
— Savanna Li, designer

“I've been drawing a lot from memory in my free time while listening to many great Leftist podcasts. This has led me to educate myself on radical movements in the United States to help me better articulate my ideas to the people surrounding me. Right now, I am reading Revolution in the Air by Max Elbaum. I'm only 60 pages in, but I'm still recommending it to everyone.”
— Aedan Clark, designer

What’s a moment that encapsulates for you what it feels like to work with Agncy?
“When I think of Agncy, I think of how every day felt exciting and new. I really miss the conversations I had with all of you and the unique perspective everyone had.”
— Aedan Clark, designer

“I don't know if I can name just one but it for sure involved a whiteboard.”
— Julianna Stockton, math educational expert

What changed for you because of your work with Agncy?
“A greater belief in the real possibility to ‘be the change you want to see in the world’. It's so exciting to find a group of people & organization willing to rethink the regular ‘ways we do business’ in order to a) be excellent to each other and b) do meaningful work they really care about.”
— Julianna Stockton, math educational expert

“My workflow changed and working there really helped me discover that the first try isn't supposed to be great.”
— Jeralmi Canela, 2019 high school intern

"Those teachers from our project together are very present in my work with teachers today."
— Lisa Jones, math instructional expert

What’s changed because of your work in the past 5 years?
“I am really proud of the fact that the signage I designed for my school's dining halls to encourage composting and discourage food waste are still in use today, and the landfill diversion rate is above 90% as a result!!“
— Micah Epstein, designer 

What are your hopes for the next 5 years?
“Another Agncy project!!  I have a pipe dream of connecting a teacher preparation with a gap year (post-high school) program where kids get some inquiry-based STEM experiences to better prepare for persisting in STEM majors in college and the recently-high-school students serve as co-designers of the teacher prep program. In general just want to get involved with more youth-led, adult-supported organizations & design processes.”
— Julianna Stockton, math educational expert


Designing the Dearborn Senior Capstone Project 

The Dearborn STEM Academy has shaped its programming and curriculum to offer students career pathways, integrating core academic subjects with technical education. The culmination of students’ journey is a capstone project, with the topic, learning plan and outcomes determined and designed by students. We worked with the pathways team at the Dearborn to design this capstone learning experience. 

“Working with Agncy to build our senior Capstone Project was transformative. As a teacher, I find myself stuck between trying to create space for all students to express themselves, and putting up enough safeguards and scaffolds to ensure all students can access the experience and the content. My default is structure and control. Agncy pushed me back to the heart of learning I had lost in my own sea of rigidity: exploration and curiosity.

With their thoughtfully posed questions and powerful prototypes, we were able to co-construct a senior capstone experience that truly centers students learning in their own self-defined areas of curiosity and passion, while also supporting students in developing those need-to-have life skills of planning, drafting, receiving feedback, and revising. By the end of our working sessions, I was a better teacher and as a result, my students had the opportunity for significantly more joyful and self-directed learning. ” 
—Chelsea Volke, Dearborn Pathways Curriculum Director & AmeriCorps Program Director

Here’s a song that came out of one student’s capstone work...

Check it out! ︎︎︎


Mapping of Boston’s Systems of Justice and Violence

We’ve been working with Janelle Ridley and the City of Boston to map the many processes, stakeholders, and dynamics of the justice system, with the goal of providing opportunities for greater transparency within these complex systems. Over the past two years, we’ve used system mapping as a tool for change and empowerment.

Design Museum Everywhere’s Spring 2021 issue, the Policing Issue, features an online exclusive article from the Agncy team about this work...  

Read it here ︎︎︎


Nubian Neighborhood Network Awarded Boston Children’s Hospital Phase 2 Grant  

Our buddies in the Dudley Street neighborhood have recently been awarded a next phase of the Children’s Health Equity grant from Children’s Hospital.

We’ve joined this collaboration to support the work of Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Project Hope and Boston Plan for Excellence. As BPE Executive Director, Jesse Solomon says, “First I thought, what is this design firm, why do I need that? But they help me take the 10 things in my head and make them crystalize into a vision.”

Learn more about the CHEq grant ︎︎︎


2020 Year of Stories    

This time of challenge has affirmed our gratitude for the work that we do — and, most of all, for the people we get to learn from and think with in this work. Each project brings us into orbit with new folks in our community and connects us with new communities.

As we start a new year, we want to hold up some of the people we've worked with over the past 12 months and what we have learned from each of them.

We hope that you take a moment to reflect with us — and also to be inspired and affirmed by the power and wisdom that live in our communities.  

Read them here! ︎︎︎

Our mission is to use design to reduce structural inequity in America. Agncy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  © 2020 Agncy Design Inc. 
Brookline, Massachusetts