CUPS: Making Policy Public

I’ve been searching around for good information & graphic design, to communicate laws to average people. I stumbled across some amazing booklets & posters from the Center for Urban Pedagogy, or CUP.

Open Law Lab - CUPS - Making Policy Public

One of their missions is to make law & policy comprehensible to normal New Yorkers. This is one of their processes, of how they get designers together with public service orgs or governments.

Open Law Lab - CUP - Legal Design

Here are some of their project areas:

Community Education

CUP works with advocacy organizations, policy experts, and designers to produce publications, workshops, and other teaching tools that explain important policy issues for the people who most need to know. CUP publications and teaching tools are made for and with specific groups in specific places, but they reach a national audience of people interested in civics education and graphic and information design.

CUP’s Envisioning Development Toolkits are workshops built around interactive tools that teach people about basic land-use terms and concepts, enabling them to participate meaningfully in neighborhood change. For example, the Affordable Housing Toolkit teaches participants about income demographics and the technical definitions of affordable housing to help them analyze proposed developments in concrete terms of units, rents, and incomes. The toolkits are developed in close collaboration with community organizations throughout New York, such as Good Old Lower East Side, the Fifth Avenue Committee, the Municipal Arts Society, and Tenants & Neighbors. For more on the Envisioning Development Toolkits, click here.

CUP’s Making Policy Public series facilitates close collaborations between policy experts and design professionals to produce foldout posters that make complex policy issues accessible. For example, The Cargo Chain helped 10,000 longshoremen understand their place in the global shipping network, and is also a bestseller at art and design bookstores in New York. Collaborators have included designers like Candy Chang, MTWTF, Alice Chung of Omnivore, and Thumb Design with organizations such as the Brennan Center for Justice, Community Voices Heard, and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. For more on Making Policy Public, click here.

CUP’s Public Access Design series of multimedia organizing tools brings together designers and animators with community organizations on short-term collaborations that use design to make complex issues accessible to the New Yorkers most affected by them. Each project results in a short video or animation, a pocket-sized foldout, a small booklet, or an interactive website. Collaborators have included community organizations such as Damayan Migrant Workers Association and the Immigrant Defense Project, and designers such as Raj Kottamasu and Petra Farinha. For more on Public Access Design, click here.

Through our Technical Assistance program, community organizations and advocacy groups can hire CUP to create custom outreach and organizing tools. For example, we are working with the Participatory Budgeting Project and Community Voices Heard, along with designer Glen Cummings, to produce outreach and educational materials, as well as maps and ballots for a citywide effort to engage public participation in City Council budget decision making.

Here is one example of their work: a booklet for Street Vendors in NYC about their rights, the policy that applies to them, and what to do if they have interactions with the police or government.

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