meeting follow-up: Design!

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Devon Olson

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Feb 21, 2020, 12:32:14 PM2/21/20
to Information Maintainers, Juliana Castro, Kelly Pendergrast, Jordan Hale, Jessica Meyerson
Hello all!

We had a lovely meeting today with guest speakers Juliana Castrano and Kelly Pendergrast, focusing on the role of design and information maintenance. Both gave fascinating, comprehensive, and impressively concise run-downs of their work in the design realm through a maintenance lens, and I would like to share some take-home points and links with you all:
  • Workflows and self-care, the personal
    • Kelly discussed her work at her company, AntiStatic where she works together with her friend/colleague/sister Anna Pendergrast, as "go-between"s, facilitating communication between folks like environmental scientists and the public. She shared how she and Anna have a personal workflow that involves a public google slide deck, where she and Anna collaborate and brainstorm new ideas on a weekly basis.
    • Juliana spoke about Cita Press, her feminist indie press project, and how it is the intersection of many things such as open access information, feminist thought, friendly urls, and design. She also discussed how the unpaid nature of this project necessitates her other work at Access Now, an organization which works to " defend and extend the digital rights of users at risk around the world".
  • Interplay between responsibility and fun
    • One of the reasons I personally love design is its propensity for fun. I asked Juli and Kelly about the role of fun within successful maintenance. This topic also grew into a discussion of the energy they spend balancing fun with their own principles regarding sustainability or accessibility of design, and also how that impacts their work with their clients.
      • Kelly replied that this is partially why she loves repeat clients. Once you get to know your clients, and they get to know you, you are both more familiar with each other's ideologies and the balance that you are trying to maintain between things like fun and sustainability while completing a project.
      • Juli affirmed the importance of fun within the design, but also commented that sometimes other aspects of design are more important
  • Safety as an advocate or activist in the public sphere
    • We discussed the importance of safety in a place that is as inherently public as the internet
      • Jordan shared about the power of avatars to protect folks like activists such as the cats of The Pinky Show
      • Kelly discussed the importance of trust and meaningful connections with your colleagues
      • and Juli brought us back to the idea of self-care, being generous with yourself, and saying no to too much work or anything else that makes you uncomfortable
Please do chime in, folks, if you have questions, comments, or additions to this record. And, a very sincere thank you to our two guest speakers, I think we could have extended our discussion a full four additional hours and not run out of things to discuss. Thank you for taking the time to visit with us.

And, lastly, please do mark your calendars for our meeting next month on March 20th at 10am CST (more to come on that), and spend some time maintaining yourself this weekend!

Yours,
Devon
Information Maintainers Co-facilitator

Kelly Pendergrast

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Feb 21, 2020, 12:35:27 PM2/21/20
to Devon Olson, Information Maintainers, Juliana Castro, Jordan Hale, Jessica Meyerson
Thanks for the follow up and thorough notes!

It was great to chat with you all. I so appreciate the work the Info Maintainers are doing to develop thinking, build community, and talk about practice and process.

Thanks for the invitation! Have a great weekend.

Kelly
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