Design for social impact and humanitarian spaces. Art about our connection to the natural world and one another.
Local Welcome is a UK-based nonprofit that builds strong communities by bringing different kinds of people together to share experiences and share their stories.
Their first series of events is focused on bringing refugees together with local communities in the UK, Canada, and USA. Natasha created a text-messaging platform for Local Welcome. Through this conversational chat bot, participants can easily coordinate and organize events where locals and refugees cook and eat meals together.
Working closely with the Local Welcome team, alongside service and UX design for the platform, Natasha also helped build capacity for continuous prototyping, testing and iterative design and development.
Jara is a Bay Area-based educational technology nonprofit developing a custom tablet to help improve education for children in remote, rural, and disconnected communities.
Working with Jara Natasha designed and led a qualitative research study focused on underserved communities in Nepal, specifically around the Kathmandu city region and nearby Himalayan/Ghorkan communities. Alongside developing the research plan and script, once on the ground Natasha co-led community outreach, conducted 40 hours of interviews, organized focus groups to inform the product design, and undertook classroom and community observation sessions.
After the field study she compiled and analyzed the data, generating a research deck which was presented and used to informed development of Jara’s educational platform.
Designed for humanitarian response, Translation Cards is an app for Android devices that allows for tap-and-play audio translations, even in the most remote bandwidth-constrained locations.
Each card contains an audio translation, optional text translation, and works across multiple languages. Any organisation can rapidly create a deck of cards catered to their own specific use cases.
Translation Cards is a collaboration between Google.org, ThoughtWorks, Mercy Corps, and UNHCR Innovation. In 2016 the app received an award for innovation at the United Nations Humanitarian Summit.
Translation Cards is available on the Google Play Store for free. The app comes bundled with a default deck designed by UNHCR Innovation for humanitarian refugee crisis response in Europe.
City State is a new civic engagement focused residency program in Indianapolis. Alongside developing the visual identity, this project involved mapping out the service delivery for the future resident and local community experiences.
Natasha facilitated strategic consultation for the organization’s partnerships and led design sprints with various stakeholders– within the organization, from local private and public sector organizations, and with the community. In turn, she mapped out diverse ideas about the residency program experience and how it might benefit and inform civic life, resulting in a civic engagement poster project.
Alongside delivering a visual identity (to be launched later in 2018), Natasha provided City State with a sset of recommendations and guidelines around organizational strategy and community engagement.
The Last Conservatory
As the natural world becomes increasingly scarce, a yearning arises for a connection to the earth. The Last Conservatory is a near-future artefact, manufactured to allow people a moment to feel close to nature once again.
This multi-sensory sculpture, a collaboration between Asha Jimenez and Oliver Blank, is constructed entirely out of found and foraged materials.
Sound emanates from the soil, inviting the audience to physically embrace the trunk of a tree and in doing so touch, smell, and feel the earth.
Exhibited in Serenbe, Georgia, in 2017.
The Lady and the Stone
The Lady and The Stone is an immersive performance that offers those who take part the opportunity to confront a burden and let it go. Starting with a phone call from an anonymous friend, visitors are sent on an extraordinary journey to rendezvous with a mysterious lady in a secluded location. On meeting The Lady, each visitor is guided through an intimate tea ceremony that culminates in releasing a burden that they carry.
For their first collaboration, Asha Jimenez and Oliver Blank created The Lady and The Stone to explore and confront emotional burdens. The inaugural performance was in 2017 at The Obfuscia Hotel at The Battery in San Francisco, California.
Exploring therapy, memory, and self-expression through storytelling and delicate ritual, guests end the experience by marking the stone thereby releasing a burden.