Harlem First: Mapping the Health of a Community

Harlem First: Mapping the Health of a Community a collaboration of DSI and the Arnhold Institute of Global Health to map the health in Harlem. This project was designed to help both doctors and Harlem residents understand health beyond the quantitative census data. By researching in the field, my group was able to identify and visualize the presence of institutions related to health, including the ones that are not conventionally regarded as health centers, such as churches and fitness centers. 

This project a collaboration with Andrea Cisneros, Karla Despradel and Jiajing Wu at the School of Visual Arts.

My role: Design Researcher, Mapping & Documenting, Installation Design and Concept Development.


The Door as a Symbol for Access


Through mapping all the services related to health and available in Harlem, we were able to visualize the large presence of some institutions in relation to others, and find the important role that these institutions have in the neighborhood. We decided to use the door as a symbol for direct and local access to health-related services.


An Exhibition to Explore Health Institutions in Harlem

We created an interactive installation in which we invited the attendees to take a postcard with a story of a Harlem inhabitant who needs health support, and asked them to help them find the health institutions that are available or are lacking in the neighborhood to fulfill his or her needs. Each door was colored coded to show the different kind of health-related institutions they are. The attendees could interact with the doors of the institutions available to find out what help or services they offer.  

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This is one of the three postcards with different inhabitant's stories and needs: