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Update #5

Join us at DesigningChicago.com

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A big thank you to each of our 377 backers! Though we haven't met our Kickstarter goal, the project will go on, and we still want your participation. If you haven't already, click over to DesigningChicago.com and sign up to get involved and stay in touch!

Greater Good Studio
George Aye & Sara Cantor Aye
change@greatergoodstudio.com


Update #4

Important: Good news and bad news

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Backers,

We have good news and bad news. We'll give you the bad news first:

Barring any miracles, we are not going to make our Kickstarter goal!

But you knew that. You knew the goal was ambitious. And we knew, almost from the moment we launched, that our concept was not ready for a mainstream audience. We were selling a process, not a product.

But, ready for the good news?

We're still doing the project! And we still want your help. Rather than asking Kickstarter for both money AND participation, we've decided to decouple those two things. First comes participation, and that's still from you. Then, once we have a concrete vision for our app's features and user interface, we'll find the money. We're confident in our ability to do so, after countless conversations this past month with investors, nonprofits, foundations, government agencies, designers, politicians and developers. (Seriously, we've taken our show on the road and learned a TON).

So: here's what to do. Click over to DesigningChicago.com and sign up! We'll keep you posted as the project continues, and if you still want to take part, you'll get many chances to do so over the next few months. We still want a huge team of engaged citizens as our field agents, and we hope you're ready to enjoy our research and design assignment videos and the community we create. Really. We want to hear from you.

Kickstarter has been quite the journey. Thank you for believing in us before anyone else. This is not the end, it's a new beginning.

Greater Good Studio
George Aye & Sara Cantor Aye


Update #3

What a week!

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Hey project backers,

What a week! The project hit national press all at once, with three simultaneous stories in Fast Company's Co.Design, The Daily Good and Core77. Which basically means that if you follow business, social impact or design, you heard about Designing Chicago! We hope you felt as proud as we did to be a part of something so newsworthy.

That said, we still have a long way to go to reach our Kickstarter goal. We've been working the campaign trail, with meetings and phone calls every day with individuals, local businesses, corporations, design firms, foundations, nonprofits, developers, investors and government agencies. Seriously, a lot of people are excited about this project! Importantly, we want you to know that this project will happen, one way or another, and that we want you involved no matter how we get there.

In the meantime, if you know someone who you think might dig a new mobile app for navigating our city, will you reach out to them tomorrow with a quick personal note? If every one of you wrote something like "Hey, I backed this project and I thought you might want to too!" to one friend, it would go a long way towards reaching our goal.

Thank you for your awesomeness, and stay tuned!

Greater Good Studio


Update #2

Thank you for being awesome

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Friends,

Backers like you are breaking new ground in all sorts of ways. Thank you for your trust in us, and for your unwavering faith in Chicago. It's been a week since launch and over 150 people have signed on board to be part of something bigger than just an app. You're showing us that you not only want things to be better, you're willing to get involved and make the changes yourselves. It's humbling.

We actually had the huge honor of speaking with a writer from Fast Company's Co.Design today, and you'll be proud to hear that she said Chicago was perhaps the only US city who could pull this off! Needless to say, we are very excited about our project's potential. See our updated press here, and a compelling new video blog with Massimo Vignelli here.

During this week, we've heard a ton of great feedback from people from a wide range of communities, including tech, design, civic engagement and transportation advocacy. We also had some very pointed questions about the app's future features, so we quickly jumped on the chance to answer them by reshooting a portion of our campaign video. The version you now see has a quick "brainstorm" on the app and some of the potential features we could include, so check it out and share!

But don't worry, we're not taking all the fun out of the project—we still need your help in discovering insights about your needs that will ultimately lead to best-in-class features. We simply wanted to address some open questions, and we hope our ideas spark more of your ideas!

We will continue raising awareness of the project, and we ask that you please tell your friends and your family too. Be sure to ask that they pledge as much as they can afford, so we can make this city more livable and our public services more usable.

Thanks from everyone at Greater Good Studio.


Update #1

Our first backers: You've started a revolution.

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Hey heroes,

You've made a great choice. Thank you for getting in on the ground floor, and supporting what we know is an untraditional Kickstarter. We're so glad that someone else out there shares our crazy vision.

We've got press! If you didn't see the exclusive Gapers Block article, it ran on Monday with an update on Tuesday. The Red Eye interviewed George yesterday and ran an awesome piece online, which will be in the print version today. They also ran a related story that's actually pretty funny - what they'd like to see in the perfect CTA app. Our Twitter's blowing up, and we're sending out a big round of press releases to tech, design and local editors later today. Finally, watch our Designing Chicago blog this week for some new video footage from our interviews with Massimo Vignelli and John Tolva.

So here's what we've realized. Our original numbers estimated about 1300 backers, but at the rate we're going, we either need double that, or we need to get some larger donors involved. So here's our ask: there are so many organizations out there that want to reach Chicago commuters, and increase their impact on the community. Think about where you work. Would they want to sponsor a neighborhood, an L line or even the Loop? Will you ask your boss today to take a look and see if there's room in the marketing budget?

With everyone's help, we can make this project happen, and design a better Chicago.

Thank you again!

George and Sara Aye
Greater Good Studio


377
Backers
$23,284
pledged of $125,000 goal
0
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  • Pledge $2 or more
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    102 backers

    GET THE APP. For less than the price of a ride on the CTA, you'll get a free download of our app when it launches! Special note: All backers pledging $2 or more will receive this reward.

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    18 backers

    ADVISOR INTERVIEW VIDEOS. You’ll receive exclusive access to download the full set of 12 Advisor Interview videos, with everyone from Massimo Vignelli to John Tolva to Graham Garfield. (A full list of Advisors can be found to the left). In the interviews, advisors share their behind-the-scenes thoughts on what features they’d like to see in our app, their vision for the project and their inspirations for improving our city. Videos are each about 5 minutes long and can be streamed or downloaded in HD.

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    42 backers

    POCKET-SIZE TRAIN MAP. Receive our all-new, beautifully usable CTA train map, printed on durable material that fits in your pocket or wallet. Great for learning the L, handing to your out-of-town guests or framing on your wall! Social bonus: With this reward, you get one pocket-size train map for yourself, and we'll give 10 away at downtown locations where lost Chicago visitors need it the most!

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    90 backers

    URBAN SCOUT. Join the team! Urban Scouts are field agents that serve as our eyes and ears on the ground. It starts with your invite to a giant kickoff party in August, where you’ll snag your Urban Scout t-shirt and meet other like-minded citizens. Then, you'll get access to a new training video each week, containing your latest Research or Design assignment. Your notes, photos, stories and ideas will appear on our Designing Chicago gallery, and your input will directly influence both the vision and execution of our app. Bonus: Your name and a link will appear on the Designing Chicago website, and you’ll be credited as a Contributor to the app.

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    17 backers

    TRAIN MAP POSTCARDS. Picture this: We take our new, beautifully designed CTA train map, cut it into 12 equal tiles, and print them onto postcards! You’ll receive a wrapped set of 12 CTA L map postcards that will make your out-of-town friends jealous, and bring an old-school transit flavor to your correspondence.

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    36 backers

    TRAIN MAP POSTER. You’ll receive a commemorative 18x24 poster of our new, beautifully designed CTA train map, silkscreened with 8-color press and printed in Chicago. A transit lover’s must-have!

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    15 backers

    COMMUTER PACKAGE. Urban Scout + Train Map Poster + Advisor Interview Videos. Save $10 and show your love! Please note: poster delivered Dec 2012, all other rewards delivered Aug 2012.

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    15 backers

    COFFEE TABLE BOOK. During the project, we’ll be gathering a ton of amazing photos, stories and wisdom about designing maps, apps and cities. We’ll document the workshops, the parties and the entire design process, and compile all this content into a printed, hardbound coffee table book. If you send in a gorgeous photo or fascinating story as a Scout, or create a brilliant insight as an Icon, it just might make the book! Talk about a portfolio piece!

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  • Pledge $200 or more
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    3 backers

    SPONSOR A STATION. Receive 10 copies of our all-new, beautifully usable CTA train map, printed on durable material that fits in your pocket or wallet. Major social bonus: With this reward, you get 10 maps for yourself and friends, and we'll distribute 100 outside the L station of your choosing! The maps will even have a sticker with your name or business, literally putting you on the map! When we hand out the maps, we'll personally tell everyone who to thank. (PS, that's you!)

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  • Pledge $300 or more
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    14 backers

    URBAN ICON. Urban Icons are local team members that work closely with Greater Good Studio on this app. In addition to all Urban Scout activities, you’ll participate in two hands-on workshops in our Chicago design studio, to learn and practice user-centered research and design. Each workshop includes instruction from George and Sara, guest coaching by our Advisory Board, and real-time work on the project including crafting insights and design opportunities, and brainstorming and prototyping features of our app. Plus, when the app is ready for launch, Urban Icons will be our very first beta testers. Bonus: Your name, link, photo and bio will appear on the Designing Chicago website, and you’ll be credited as a Designer to the app. Double Bonus: You’ll get a limited-edition Urban Icon t-shirt at our Kickoff Party.

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  • Pledge $400 or more
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    6 backers

    "GET THE GOODS" PACKAGE. Urban Icon + Coffee Table Book + Train Map Poster + Pocket-Sized Train Map + Advisor Interview Videos. Save $80. You really can have it all! Please note: book delivered April 2013, poster and map delivered Dec 2012, all other rewards delivered Aug 2012.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    2 backers

    "DO-GOOD" PACKAGE. Urban Icon + Coffee Table Book + Sponsor a Station. Save $100. You are a big-hearted pillar of society! Please note: book delivered April 2013, station sponsorship delivered Dec 2012, all other rewards delivered Aug 2012.

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    0 backers

    SPONSOR A NEIGHBORHOOD. Make a real local impact - this is Sponsor a Station times 5! Receive 50 copies of our pocket-size CTA train map (for your friends, neighbors or employees), and we'll give away 500 outside 5 CTA L stations or bus stops of your choice. The maps will have a sticker with your name or business, literally putting you on the map! When we hand out the maps, we'll be sure to let everyone know who they can thank for this gift.

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    1 backer

    URBAN ICON TEAM. You and 3 friends make an iconic team. This reward entitles you to 4 Urban Icon spots with a savings of $50/person - so grab those friends or coworkers and sign on up!

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    0 backers

    DINNER WITH THE AD BOARD. Get ready for an evening filled with intensely good food, drink and conversation. In addition to becoming Urban Icons, you and a guest will attend dinner at a Chicago foodie hotspot with 2 Advisory Board members, George and Sara.

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    0 backers

    PRIVATE SOCIAL DESIGN WORKSHOP. Are you a nonprofit, foundation, social enterprise or public agency looking to innovate? George and Sara from Greater Good Studio will host a one-day social design workshop with you and up to 7 guests on the social issue of your choice - such as education, home energy, childhood obesity, homelessness or public health. This won’t be another chatty meeting - you will leave the workshop with new ways to look at your users, actionable ideas and a plan to bring user-centered design to your program. Special note: Outside of Chicago, travel costs are additional.

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    1 backer Limited (7 left of 8)

    SPONSOR A LINE. Make an immense impact on the City of Chicago's commuter population. We'll send you 100 copies of our pocket-size CTA train map, which you can hand out in your neighborhood, store, lobby or office. Then, you choose the train line (pink/red/orange/yellow/green/blue/purple/brown) and we'll hand out 100 pocket-size train maps outside every single station - courtesy of your name, company or brand! We'll personally tell each commuter who picks one up to send their thanks your way.

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  • Pledge $10,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (12 left of 12)

    SPONSOR THE LOOP. We will hand out a grand total of 2,500 pocket-size train maps to commuters at every el station and bus stop in Chicago's Loop. And these aren't just beautiful, pocket-size train maps: they are marked with your name, brand or company logo on them! In addition, you will be listed as a headline sponsor on major pieces of project communication: the DesigningChicago.com website, the training video credits, and the project coffee table book. PS: For other sponsorship opportunities, see the FAQs.

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Funding period

- (30 days)