Bronzeville enjoys a rich history as the “Black Metropolis” and the center of African-American culture since the early 20th century. However, as its fortune began to decline in the 1960s, Bronzeville lost a large portion of its residents and most major businesses closed or moved out. Decades later, the Bronzeville community still strives to attract commercial and industrial development to create local jobs that would help lower-income residents secure their economic future and wellbeing, and build a cohesive community. Our opportunity is to tap tourism potential to provide stability in the local economy. The tourism industry creates jobs in many different areas in addition to instilling a sense of pride and identity in the community.
The goal of this IPRO project is to apply design thinking strategies to attract local and global tourists to elevate Bronzeville as a prominent tourist destination. This course provides students an introduction to design thinking as applied to social innovation, as well as hands-on opportunities to apply these principles in real-time, creating solutions to address the challenge. Solutions must be desirable for community members, technologically feasible and economically viable.
The IPRO team will conduct secondary and primary research (intercept and expert interviews, participant observation), and engage with Bronzeville residents and stakeholders throughout the semester. Team members will learn and apply a variety of design methods to develop insights from their data, analyze the information (asset mapping, stakeholder mapping, user journey maps), and synthesize (rapid prototyping) findings to create social innovation concepts that enhance tourism in Bronzeville.
IPRO team members will have the opportunity to:
• Develop a basic understanding of the fundamentals of design thinking as it relates to social innovation
• Gain hands-on experience planning and executing field research activities using a variety of methods and tools
• Complete a cycle of rapid prototyping and iteration
• Engage in productive collaboration with teammates from multiple disciplines
• Develop and persuasively communicate solutions.