Mayo Nissen

Design, etc


FloodNet is a cooperative of communities, researchers, and New York City government agencies working to better understand the frequency, severity, and impacts of flooding in New York City. The FloodNet sensor was developed by researchers at New York University (NYU) and the City University of New York Advanced Science Research Center (CUNY ARSC), in partnership with the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay (SRIJB), the NYC Mayor’s Office of Resiliency and the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer. The New York City Mayor’s Office of the CTO is responsible for collaborating with City and academic partners by advising on technical issues, ensuring responsible use of connected technology, and helping to identify funding opportunities.

The design lab at the Mayor’s Office of the CTO supported the Floodnet team by creating a brand to represent the work of the various partners under the Floodnet umbrella, a website to house information about their work, and the design for transparency signage to communicate the presence and purpose of the sensor installations on the streets of New York. These signs were installed on DOT-managed poles in areas where the FloodNet sensors were being piloted to explain what the otherwise inscrutible boxes were, engage the local community, and provide means to contact the researchers.

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New York happened to some of the signs. This was... not unexpected.


This work was conducted in 2020/21 while design lab director at the New York City Mayor's Office of the Chief Technology Officer. Key collaborators included Elyse Voegeli and Liz Wang for the design lab; Paul Rothman, as the NYC CTO representative with Floodnet; and the entire Floodnet team with the City and at NYU and CUNY.