Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt | Audio

S8E8: Nina Cooke John

Nina Cooke John is founder and principal of Studio Cooke John, and also teaches at Parsons School of Design.

Cooke John works on everything from residential spaces to public art projects to problems of urban strategy:
They talk about walking at night being this amazing experience, that as you wander through a city at night it's meditative in a way because of the lights and it's quiet and everyone should do this. But everyone can't do this. Women wouldn't even dream about doing that right after a certain hour. So how do we give women the access to this purportedly amazing experience by allowing them to walk freely at night?
She developed a combination of physical interventions (lights embedded in sidewalks) and digital ones (an app for communicating with other women) to make women feel safe and empowered:
In my research, much of what they said as well is that women are more likely actually to be attacked by people they know than people on the street. So a big part of it is just giving women the confidence to feel like they can walk at night. 

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