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Neighborhood, Maintenance, Jacket, Activism, Care

This intervention questions the traditional framework of care by redefining the role of the “maintenance worker” and rethinking modes of community engagement. The design aims to make accessible and transparent the fabrication and personalization of a community-made maintenance jacket in McKenna Square Park. The assembly process activates the pavilion with three stages of assembly, engaging various community partners. Considering the simplicity of construction, the jacket assembly template is modeled as a series of nested lines on letter-sized paper, organized graphically for ease of assembly. The jacket base is reversible, comprising two layers sewn together at the edges. Since the construction is already a single pocket wrapping the body, the interior becomes accessible through a simple incision into a layer of fabric, offering various assemblages to serve as a blank canvas for conversation and personalization. Through the artifact and process of assembly, the design suggests a platform to provoke a question of agency, care, mentorship, and education for the community of Washington Heights.