Phil Puccia, Rappaport Institute Advisory Board Member
City of Boston, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics Supervisor: Stephen Walter, Program Director
Description of Fellowship
Beta Blocks is a public, co-creative exploration of civic technology. My intention was to set the stage for Beta Blocks, before it is formally begun in partnership with the project team (lead by the Emerson eLab). Matthew’s work included case studies of past MONUM projects, focusing on what those precedents suggest for public engagement, regulation, finance, and temporality. Furthermore, a literature review, and a list of foreign precedents and inspirations, provide academic and non-academic grounding. Building on these – and much informed by conversations with the project team and my experience at MONUM – Matthew wrote a number of short draft essays that outline his own perspective on dimensions of Beta Blocks, such as Defining Civic Technology, the Paradox of Institutions and Scaling, and articulating what Beta Blocks is NOT. This work is well-summarized in the MONUM blog post that he wrote, as well as in a zine that he created.