Taconic Fellowship
Chipping away at poverty through community design

This was a year-long study and collaboration with the Park Slope Community Help, Inc. (CHiPS), an organization providing meals to the community. Through the act of composting, we aimed to deepen connections between CHiPS, the Park Slope Food Co-op, a local community garden, and the surrounding community. My engagement with CHiPS in the Gowanus/Park Slope neighborhood revealed a gap often seen between social and environmental spaces. I wanted to challenge a common assumption that the poor are unproductive members of society that drain community resources. In this project, the opportunity to fuse this gap appeared through addressing food waste. The result of our year together was a self-sustaining program that encourages the reduction of food waste through connecting CHiPS with NYC's composting program and their surrounding community gardens. The program was implemented through staff and volunteer training with the assistance of visual graphics designed to live in CHiPS' kitchen.

Presented at With Empathy and Care: Designing to Improve People's Lives, a panel discussion at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum (2017).

A project preview by Nick Schultz
service design, civic engagement, ethnographic study, volunteering, grant writing

2016 - 2017

Grant funded by:

Pratt Center for Community Development / Taconic Fellowship


Lead Researcher & Designer


Jennifer E. Telesca, PhD / Assistant Professor of Environmental Justice / Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies at Pratt Institute

In collaboration with:

Park Slope Community Help, Inc. (CHiPS)

Park Slope Food Co-op

Greenspace on 4th

Old Stonehouse