DC hosted its’ 4th Annual Service Jam this year, in at the beautiful and open studios of Maga Design. This marked the first jam that was organized in partnership with our SDN Washington DC chapter and the Service Design DC Community.
With the slogan “48 hours to change the world!”, the spirit of the jam is about doing rather than talking. Focused on making new connections with people and playing with ideas to turn them into actions, the jammers work to build something together they would not be able to build on their own, and boy was it intense – jamming into the night!
Guided by our fearless organizers, Frankie Abralind, Gabriel Arteaga, Aza Damood, Phil Jones, John Gray Parker, and Lauren Peterson, 7 dedicated coaches, and 42 participants, the weekend kicked off with the reveal of this year’s secret theme “hello? lo? o? o.”
We had 7 diverse teams with folks from as far away Canada and as young as an 8th grader! Phil set the tone by addressing the Jammers with a chicken hat and rubber chicken. Everyone was inspired to refine their ideas, build a prototype, and test it with whatever people they could find roaming around in the streets of Adams Morgan on a sunny and warm February weekend.
The final presentations were playful and fun. They showed thoughtfulness and considerations for many social, political, and economic factors. Every team’s idea centered around encouraging human connection. Some Jammers acted out their service – like the one where long distance BFFs can have a drone deliver them an activity that they can do together. Others created models and physical prototypes – like a solution to help neighbors become more acquainted with one another while helping each other out.
The panel of design leaders joined us for the final presentations voted for their favorite and the winning team left with a special jar of yummy home-made jam. The participants also voted for the ‘audience choice’ which happened to be the same team “Whirled Peas”, who designed a service that familiarizes people with different cultures. It was an inspiring ending to the weekend that made us feel that we can change the world – even a little bit – by Jamming together and into the future.
“It feels great to have the opportunity to grow such an amazing community in DC, home to the nation’s largest organizations that provide services for citizens,” said Aza Damood, Service Design Lead at Booz Allen, co-founder of Service Design DC, and one of the co-organizers of the jam. “If the energy, enthusiasm, and passion of the service jam participants is any indication, we are off to an incredible start!”