The Listening Room

Sparking a Conversation Around Policing in NYC. Helping the New York Civil Liberties Union activate a city-wide, nontraditional campaign centered on listening. New Yorkers experience policing differently depending on who they are and where they live. Some communities are patrolled; others are profiled. When your neighbors’ experiences are starkly different from your own, it can be almost impossible to understand their perspective. The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), a state branch of the ACLU, hoped to spark a dialogue around race and police tactics in over-policed communities, and to engage voters on this divisive issue before New York City’s mayoral election. But the NYCLU also understood that traditional slogans and billboards weren’t enough to foster deep personal conversations and effective political action—the city needed real talk. The organization engaged IDEO to help create a city-wide, nontraditional campaign. In talking with New Yorkers, the NYCLU advocates and IDEO designers honed in on two simple truths: Transformative conversations happen only when people feel safe enough to listen—and to speak. And people become more compassionate listeners once they themselves feel heard. In a time of entrenched interests and growing social conflict, listening can be a radical act. Together, IDEO and the NYCLU designed Listening NYC, a grassroots campaign to promote interpersonal listening, meaningful discussion, and collective action around policing.

Project Roles
Creative Director
new york civil liberties union
Content Strategy, Design, Design Strategy, Exhibit Design, Furniture Design, Human-Centered Design
Architecture, Installations
Project Industries
The Listening Room