We began our Spring Studio in January 2020, looking forward to working with the Teaneck Community on their Future Growth Plan. In the early part of the semester, we had the opportunity to speak with several members of the community in-person, as well as over the phone. On February 26, we visited Teaneck and met with the Township’s Planner, Richard Preiss, Acting Township Clerk, Doug Ruccione, and Councilman, James Dunleavey. On February 29, we met with nine community members for an informal discussion on race and ethnicity in Teaneck. Because studio classes are a combination of discussion, research and recommendations compiled by a team, they are most effectively conducted through in-person meetings. All this changed when in mid-March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our classes suddenly switched from in-person to an online format.
For the rest of the semester, our studio was conducted entirely from our remote locations across several countries and different time zones, adding significant logistical challenges. Our team members had relocated to their homes in South Korea, Japan, Honduras, Los Angeles, Cleveland, New Brunswick, Boston, and Washington, D.C. To resolve this new challenge, we collectively learned how to use the ESRI Story Maps, a new platform, to tell the story of what we learned and how we recommended the town move forward. With the help of several guest critics, we completed our studio on time with what we consider to be a compelling product that tells the story of Teaneck. Thank you to everyone who helped along the way.
Instructor: Barbara Faga