Smarter Cities Challenge Proposal: To You

Using open-data & access to tech to create in-person community interactions; we believe that connections can lead to investments in the city.

Addressing social isolation within Vancouver.


Service Designer
UX Designer
Visual Designer
February 2018 — April 2018


Proposal for Smarter Cities Challenge


Claudia Hopkins
Sandra Han


City of Vancouver & City of Surrey


We believe that connections can lead to investments in the city and community. Through keeping our neighbourhoods safe and our economy strong and competitive.

How might we help others discover a shared, meaningful experience together in order to foster this vulnerability and connection?

Problem Space

Helping others get to know each other through interactive experiences.

Gathering services that are readily available in Vancouver, we developed the concept of using shipping containers concepts to connect marginalized areas through interactive experiences.

Vancouver has many initiatives that support similar concepts but aren’t marketed, therefore not many people know about it. We took this secondary research to develop our concept as a sub brand to keep with consistency so that it has potential to grow and be known for bringing communities together through interactive experiences.

We saw potential for it to grow into different ways to connect different marginalized areas.


There were areas in Vancouver that were lacking in digital literacy. This presented to us an opportunity space for mobile digital centres to target marginalized areas within Vancouver to increase digital maturity.

In the more popular areas of Vancouver, efforts have been made to make free wifi more accessible. This has reinforced the convenience of being able to catch up on social media and connecting with one another through tech.

Through primary research, we concluded that a lot of people rely on social media and the general media to catch up with one another. Through observational research, we inferred that multi-sensory experiences led to more verbal, communicative interaction with others.

So people who were eating, shopping, walking together were more likely to effortlessly socialize.

Figuring It Out

Vancouver Public Library Central is the only branch offering the high demand digital literacy classes.

VPL Digital Centres will increase technological accessibility for marginalized and isolated populations by having desktop computers available for use, free WiFi, and offering digital training sessions. Training is requested by the community and is provided by VPL’s efforts to increase digital literacy.

Impact of initiatives like these would result in an education driven method of bringing marginalized communities together for a connected experience.

We have presented our initial stage of this project to the City of Vancouver, and they strongly encouraged us to explore funding options for a pilot.

As these projects balance creativity and potential for execution, incorporates action based research, and integrates with existing offers. Which allows it to be feasible for immediate implementation.

Street parking rental has become a more common way for businesses to set up, so we decided to have these installed near recreational hot spots like parks, downtown, and tourist heavy areas.

Pop Up Vancouver will allow for social and contemplative experiences using branding collateral to attract the attention of a new interactive experience.

The Big Idea!

The beginning of converting our copywriting into UX writing was a catalyst for how we were going to approach our branding, story telling, and video prototype. Paying close attention to every choice of words & their connotations, a brand’s voice, and tone is very important when presenting and showing an idea's value to a user and or stakeholder.

This is the first time I created a storyboard, moodboard, and directed a big video prototype project! Claudia and I worked through learning about adjusting lighting, setting up for filming, and understanding how colors/lighting really affect the outcome of a video and it's message.

Biggest Takeaways