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F News Blog — July 12, 2012

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Husband and wife team, George Aye and Sara Cantor, are on a mission to revolutionize the public transit experience in Chicago. On Monday, the design professionals and SAIC instructors, launched a Kickstarter campaign, “Designing Chicago: New Tools for Public Transit” in order to raise $125,000 to develop a new CTA app. They are not, however, simply embracing the crowd funding trend — contributors to the campaign actually have the opportunity to join them and their team of advisors and designers to create the app.

Donating $25 makes interested patrons “Urban Scouts” who research and complete assignments that Aye and Cantor have prepared to inform the app’s design. A donor who pledges $300 or more can become an “Urban Icon” and take an active part in designing and developing the app. Aye and Cantor promise high-impact workshops at their studio and a real educational experience. “It will give Kickstarter backers a chance to vent their frustrations with public transit, find opportunities for improvement, then brainstorm ideas for this next-generation app,” he explained. Aye and Cantor have recruited an impressive advisory board to aid them in the design process.

This second campaign comes right on the heels of Aye’s recent Kickstarter success with MFA student David Hull, through which they raised over $5,000 for his brand of handmade felt sleeves for iPods, iPads, and MacBook Airs. The mission of their studio, Greater Good Design, is to work with policymakers in order to “align incentives to bring about change.”

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