Ariel Kennan draws upon her experience in multidisciplinary design and technology to lead research, concept development, and design, collaborating closely with design teams, vendors, and partners. She has created digital strategy and policy, mobile applications, websites, and media installations with a wide variety of cultural, corporate, and government partners. Her projects have won numerous awards, including the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival Award for Transmedia. Ariel currently serves the City of New York as Director, Design and Product at the Center for Economic Opportunity at the Mayor’s Office of Operations, where she is improving service delivery and advancing equity and opportunity for all New Yorkers. She is an alumna of Parsons School of Design and has held fellowships with Code for America and the Center for Urban Pedagogy.
- New York City Mayor’s Office · New York, NY · September 2014 – Present
- Consulted city governments regarding digital innovation including open data policy and standards, data portals, and technology best practices which led to new legislation being passed, creation of innovation roles, and events within city hall.
- Created a new application for small business digital literacy, BizFriend.ly.
- Spoke publicly on behalf of Code for America and presented BizFriend.ly, including at community events, within city hall, and in press interviews.
- Organized events including community roundtables, hackathon, and app launch.
- Led communication and documentation including presentation design and scripting, blog posts, and mid-year and end of year reports.
- Co-founded a local volunteer group for civic technology.
- Collaborated with and led creative teams in research, concept development, design, and production of experiential environments for cultural and corporate clients.
- Conducted client pitches and presentations with principal designer.
- Created project deliverable documents, presentations, and production budgets.
Director, Design and Product, Center for Economic Opportunity
Code for America · San Francisco, CA · January 2013 – November 2013
Paired with the governments of Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri to build new civic software applications and enhance technology policy, government innovation, and community organizing.
Center for Urban Pedagogy · New York, NY · August 2012 – June 2013
Public Access Design Fellow
Year long series of conversations and mentorship with a group of designers focused on social and civic design.
ESI Design · New York, NY · January 2008 – December 2012
Interaction and Experience Designer, Design Lead
Promoted from an intern to lead designer on creative teams and overseeing production on key projects within the studio.
Clients included: Barclays, Beacon Capital Partners, Comcast, Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate, General Electric, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, News Corporation, Octave Living, Pfizer, Trust for the National Mall, Rodale
Local Projects · New York, NY · September – December 2007
Assisted in research, design, and production of museum-based projects.
Museo di Storia della Scienza · Florence, Italy · October – December 2006
Participated in museum education activities and created a visitor guidebook.
Parsons School of Design, New York, NY, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Integrated Design, 2008.
Lorenzo de’Medici · Florence, Italy· September – December 2006
Coursework includes Photography, Italian Language, Museum Studies
Tribeca Film Festival, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Award for Transmedia, 2013
Communicator Awards, Award of Distinction Winner – Interactive Multimedia, 2011
SXSW Interactive Awards, Kiosk and Installation Finalist, 2011
SXSW Interactive Web Awards, Educational Resource Finalist, 2009
GCN, How NYC is untangling the tech-hiring knot, October 2015
core77, Civic Design Camp: Talks, Task Forces, Taboos and Tools for Large-Scale Impact, November 2014
Los Angeles Times, Civic-minded hackers code well for the future, August 2013
NPR’s Morning Edition, How Code For America’s Apps Benefit Kansas City, May 2013
Time Magazine, Peace Corps for Geeks, April 2013
Filmaker Magazine, Tribeca Goes Interactive, April 2013
Fast.Co Create, April 2013
Columbia Journalism Review, Collecting Sandy’s Stories One by One, April 2013
Silicon Prairie News, Code for America’s first month in KC all about “listening, learning”, February 2013
Parsons re:D Magazine, Alumni Profiles, Spring 2010
Personal Democracy Forum · New York, NY · June 2016
Bid With, Not For: Building Empathy Into Selling Civic Tech
AIGA City as Interface · New York, NY · December 2015
Discussing how technology is reshaping how citizens, policy, design, and government interact with one another in New York City.
Code for America Summit · Oakland, CA · October 2015
Your government wants you: hiring a team of designers in New York City Government.
LMHQ Offsite · New York, NY · June 2015
Navigating the Innovation Frenzy of Work
Code for America Summit · San Francisco, CA · September 2014
Makers To Mayors: Building Design and Development Capacity Inside Government. Governments around the world are creating different models for increasing design and development capacity and competency — from change by revolution to in-agency design teams to chief innovation officers. Panelists and participants explore the many possibilities, share how government is empowering change, and strengthen their network of fellow public servants who are designing and developing new ideas and processes.
BetaNYC Women’s Civic Hack Night · New York, NY · December 2013
Keynote at Government UX/UI Bootcamp · San Juan, Puerto Rico · November 2013
“Designing Government for Your Citizens: Using design to create modern interactions with government”
Talking Transition · New York, NY · November 2013
BizFriend.ly Demo as part of “21st Century City: The Social Impact of Data & Technology”
Code for America Summit · San Francisco, CA · October 2013
Kansas City Spotlight
Kansas City Art Institute · Kansas City, MO · October 2013
Panel at New York City Government Technology Forum · Brooklyn, NY · November 2012
Innovation & New Models of Civic Engagement
University of Michigan School of Information · Ann Arbor, MI · November 2011
“Experience at Scale” Guest Lecture
Parsons the New School for Design · New York, NY · April 2010, April 2011, November 2011, April 2012