Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 75

perspectives hdac spotlight
By Alissa Ponchione
This is the fi rst in an ongoing interview series curated by the
Hospitality Diversity Action Council (HDAC)
Mobile Makers pop-ups are
held in a retrofitted UPS truck
BIG THINKER
Maya Bird-Murphy makes design accessible to young people
Maya Bird-Murphy grew up in Chicago's Oak Park neighborhood,
surrounded by the city's infl uential architectural history. Aſt er att ending
a high school architecture camp, she knew she wanted to work in the
fi eld. She went to Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana to pursue
her degree, but a few years in the working world opened her eyes to
the discipline's lack of diversity. " I was having trouble feeling like I
belonged, " she recalls. That's when she came up with the idea to off er
low-cost workshops for school-aged children to learn about design and
skill building in a mobile sett ing. Centering her Boston Architectural
College grad school thesis around the concept, Bird-Murphy launched
Mobile Makers Chicago in September 2017 in a retrofi tt ed UPS truck.
Recently, she partnered with her alma mater to bring Mobile Makers
to Boston, while also opening a brick-and-mortar space in Chicago that
Bird-Murphy hopes will be become a stabilizing force in the community.
Here, she shares the challenges of launching Mobile Makers, retrofi tt ing
an old UPS truck, and what's next for the nonprofi t.
What is Mobile Makers?
I wanted to talk to young people about how design aff ects us, and I
thought, why not put that in a truck and drive around? We want to
make it easier for kids on the South and West Sides of Chicago to have
opportunities. We're not necessarily trying to bring people into the
architecture fi eld. It's more about kids caring about their communities
and developing some of the skills that will positively impact their
environments by going through our design-thinking and problem-solving
workshops.
What were the challenges of launching Mobile Makers?
I launched the business in September 2017 right before I graduated. I was
doing my master's online while working fulltime. Aſt er I graduated and
started doing workshops, people started to understand what the point was.
We booked most of our workshops via word of mouth, and 90 percent of
our programming before the pandemic was doing workshops in schools.
Children learn design and skill
building during workshops
How did the pandemic change your business model?
The buzzword is pivot. We sent design kits to peoples' homes so kids had
something to do. We started doing community engagement work, which
helped us stay afl oat. 2020 was the best and worst year. Our programming
came to a halt with the pandemic, but at the same time, we grew a ton. We
received more donations than ever that year.
Tell us about the Mobile Makers van, a retrofi tted UPS truck.
The truck is special. Kids light up when they see it. There's something
magical about it. You can tell they're having a lot of fun and that's what the
truck is about. We got a bunch of press for it. The goal is to have all three
things: aſt er school programs in our space, pop-ups with the truck, and
workshops in schools.
You also opened a brick-and-mortar Mobile Makers space in
Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood.
We're learning every day about the mental health struggles of young people,
and this was a good time to double down on doing something in person.
We needed a space where kids feel safe, where they don't have to think
about their worries for a few hours. Over the next fi ve years, I would love to
become a consistent presence in the neighborhood.
How do you defi ne social architecture via your workshops?
It's human-centered design. We don't oſt en talk about the end user. There's
rarely authentic community engagement. Our workshops are all about
giving young people the agency and the power to think that they can make
a diff erence in their built environment. We can make more change in
communities without necessarily going down the traditional path or having
to go through the normal gatekeepers. It's also about showing people that
small changes make big diff erences.
How have you changed kids' perspectives on what good design
can do?
The workshops are longer engagements that are week by week. In the
summer, it will be every day. We go deep with kids talking about history and
gentrifi cation. It's cool to see what kind of interventions they come up with.
We've done workshops all over the city in diff erent places. Teens understand
the issues that are happening in their communities, and they all have
answers to solve the problem. It's very rewarding. hd
hospitalitydesign.com July 2022
075
Photos courtesy of MOBILE MAKERS
http://www.hospitalitydesign.com

Hospitality Design - July 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - July 2022

contents
from the editor
behind the design
cityscene: chicago
sketchbook
interview: firm spinoffs
interview: anniversaries
interview: danny meyer + matthew goodrich
interview: designers at home
hdac spotlight: maya bird-murphy
hd expo recap
hd expo recap: people
hd expo recap: design spotter
hd expo recap: conference highlights
hd expo recap: iida/hd product design competition
designer profile: moran munyuthe
casegoods
surfaces
lighting
furniture
the lifestyle leader: brian de lowe
the strategist: federico toresi
the storyteller: little wing lee
the visionary: grace leo
the experience maker: randall cook
the rising star: felipe riccio
the power couple: eric höweler + j. meejin yoon
the risk taker: roman alonso
the tastemaker: michael stillman
the veteran: shirli sensenbrenner
the empire builders: jerrod, molly + r.j. melman
the entrepreneurs: alina roytberg + lev glazman
the futurists: anab jain + jon ardern
the rebel: imana
the f&b disruptors: camille lindsley + telly justice
ad index
back space: mitchell hochberg
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - Intro
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - Cover1
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - Cover2
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 1
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 2
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 3
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 4
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - contents
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 6
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 7
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 8
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 9
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - from the editor
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 11
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 12
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 13
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - behind the design
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 15
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 16
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 17
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - cityscene: chicago
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 19
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 20
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 21
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 22
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - sketchbook
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 24
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 25
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 26
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 27
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 28
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - interview: firm spinoffs
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 30
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 31
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 32
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 33
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 34
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 35
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 36
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 37
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - interview: anniversaries
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 39
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 40
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 41
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 42
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 43
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 44
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 45
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 46
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 47
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 48
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 49
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 50
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - interview: danny meyer + matthew goodrich
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 52
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 53
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 54
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 55
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 56
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 57
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 58
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 59
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - interview: designers at home
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 61
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 62
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 63
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 64
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 65
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 66
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 67
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 68
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 69
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 70
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 71
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 72
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 73
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 74
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - hdac spotlight: maya bird-murphy
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 76
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 77
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 78
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - hd expo recap
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - hd expo recap: people
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 81
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 82
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - hd expo recap: design spotter
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - hd expo recap: conference highlights
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 85
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 86
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 87
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 88
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 89
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - hd expo recap: iida/hd product design competition
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 91
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 92
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - designer profile: moran munyuthe
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 94
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - casegoods
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 96
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - surfaces
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 98
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 99
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 100
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 101
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 102
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - lighting
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 104
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 105
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 106
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 107
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 108
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - furniture
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 110
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 111
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 112
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 113
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 114
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 115
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - the lifestyle leader: brian de lowe
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 117
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 118
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 119
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - the strategist: federico toresi
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 121
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 122
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 123
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - the storyteller: little wing lee
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 125
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 126
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - the visionary: grace leo
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - the experience maker: randall cook
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 129
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 130
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - the rising star: felipe riccio
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - the power couple: eric höweler + j. meejin yoon
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 133
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - the risk taker: roman alonso
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 135
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - the tastemaker: michael stillman
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 137
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - the veteran: shirli sensenbrenner
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 139
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - the empire builders: jerrod, molly + r.j. melman
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 141
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - the entrepreneurs: alina roytberg + lev glazman
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 143
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - the futurists: anab jain + jon ardern
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 145
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - the rebel: imana
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - the f&b disruptors: camille lindsley + telly justice
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 148
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 149
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - ad index
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - 151
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - back space: mitchell hochberg
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - Cover3
Hospitality Design - July 2022 - Cover4
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