We are welcoming the first resident of 2015, Deland Chan to our community!Deland is a Lecturer in Urban Studies at Stanford, where she teaches Sustainable Cities, a project-based service learning class where students collaborate with Bay Area government agencies and non-profit organizations on sustainability projects. In addition, she founded the International Urbanization initiative, which offers students a comparative approach to sustainable development in the world’s most rapidly urbanizing countries, with a particular focus on China. It’s only natural for her to continue her focus on the community and urban planning during her residency project.
For her time here at Makeshift, she is pursuing two projects. First, she is working with an elementary school teacher in San Francisco and plan to co-facilitate my first design thinking workshop with a first grade classroom later this month. This is to build off of the existing design thinking that she teaches at the Stanford Institute of Design, or d.school, exploring the intersection of design thinking, placemaking, and community building in urban environments. Most recently, I taught Design for Everyday Social Good, Designing for Communities at Play, and will be offering Creative Tools for Urban Spaces in the Spring.
During the process, youth will be exposed to concepts of creating to form tangible, positive outcomes with their own hands. Youth WPA nurtures early successes to inspire self-confidence, a greater sense of self-efficacy and engagement, and acts as a catalyst to encourage youth to reach for bigger future opportunities. She has had experience with older students in college level. She has traveled with students abroad to China to tackle some of the infrastructures in public spaces there. For her project she is bringing it a little closer to home with a different age set, but many of the same principles remain with design thinking and planning.
For her second project, she is working with the Chinatown Community Development Center to lead an experiential learning trip for Chinatown high school youth to travel to Vancouver later this Spring to learn about innovative urban planning policies.
Deland has been working on improving many aspects of our city that extends beyond public structures. Recently she has been involved in a project to improve the immensely dense Chinatown neighborhood. The teams goal was to create a community vision to improve pedestrian conditions and safety conditions along a major four-lane road. During the project, Deland wrote as well as executed the public engagement strategy and coordinated translation of all outreach, workshop, and presentation materials. She also organized and led community meetings, one-on-one interviews, and focus groups while working with the San Francisco Planning Department to host the community outreach workshops. She previously became acquainted and worked with young members of our community when she came helped in developing The Safe Walks to School project. They aimed to create a series of workshops and curriculum in order to encourage walking and bicycling with the 5th graders attending Jean Parker Elementary School in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Urban planning concepts were introduced to the students to help them understand how and why transportation planners create streets and implement design changes to make the streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists. The workshops were designed and led by TRIP members with Deland’s guidance. Deland developed the leadership potential of young members of the Chinatown Transportation Research Improvement Project (TRIP), a 35-year old grassroots transportation advocacy group committed to improving transportation issues in San Francisco’s Chinatown.The workshops enabled TRIP members to build stronger relationships with one another and solidify their understanding of Chinatown transportation planning concepts in order to teach the younger participants. You can find out more on all of the projects Deland has been involved in here. Be sure to say hello if you see her around the clubhouse or the city! We are excited to see what she accomplishes during her residency at Makeshift!