What We Do
“The specific problems we face cannot be solved using the same patterns of thought that were used to create them.”
ReThink Studio is an independent, self-supporting think tank whose mission is to solve intractable problems using design thinking. The limiting feature of these problems is not scientific, but rather political. Therefore, they become solvable with a change of mindset.
ReThink Studio’s interdisciplinary team of problem solvers have the tools necessary to rethink how these issues are addressed through our experience in architecture, technology, entrepreneurial thinking which transcend the limitations of traditional binary, dualistic methodologies.
ReThink Studio’s first project, ReThinkNYC, solved a series of problems in new york, by “thinking bigger” and combining them, moving past the traditional, myopic approach. This work is in the process of being made into a book, ReThinking New York.
But solving intractable problems isn’t enough; the solutions, which often veer past traditional lines of thinking and knowledge, need to be explained. Given their scale, this is best done visually and often with video animations. Because of this, ReThink Studio has developed a proficiency in producing videos that are not only informative, but also beautiful, making it easier to understand the elegance of our solutions. For this reason, others hire us to produce materials to argue for their transportation ideas as well. This gives us the ability to support our core mission financially. We never take on an external project that we do not believe in.
Once the solutions are explained, moving them forward in the public discourse takes as much, if not more creativity (and work) than coming up with the solution in the first place. ReThink Studio does this too. How are limited resources best spent on this effort? Public relations, events, Op-Eds, meetings with key individuals are all parts of the maze that has to be navigated.
These challenges are exhilarating, exciting and deeply meaningful to our entire team. We aim to improve the world in a positive way and our interdisciplinary team makes that possible.
PLANNING AND DESIGN
At the heart of our philosophy is a holistic approach to planning and design. Our best-publicized project, ReThinkNYC, captures this value by relying on a realistic understanding of how the current transit system operates and where the real opportunities for improvement exist.
The result: a comprehensive plan for unifying New York’s regional rail system that would fundamentally change both the way people move through the city and the growth patterns of the region for decades to come.
Our planning experience brings us the tools to look at other urban areas with a similar clarity, whether we are working with municipalities or developers looking to improve transportation-oriented development.
ReThink Studio has developed a reputation for creating stunning visualizations that have changed the terms of public discourse by explaining a series of complex, interrelated ideas in a way that is easily understood by the general public. The power of a clear, concise visual representation can not be understated. Taking a multi-faceted idea and representing it in a systemic manner that’s easy for the target audience to understand can instantly provide more credibility for any plan, no matter the scale.
For this reason, ReThink Studio has been hired by civic organizations, developers and others to produce visualizations that explain their projects. Our unique visualizations can not only help the general public understand a plan easily, but also bridge the gaps of understanding between stakeholders. Conflicting interests can derail a potentially wonderful project, and a physical representation that everyone agrees upon can help make the implementation of a plan as seamless as possible.
Visualizations can include animations, renderings, or maps. The cost of each project depends on the complexity and length of the work.
Whether we are hosting events, conducting media interviews, creating renderings and videos, printing booklets, or broadening our reach on social media, our focus is entirely on bringing an idea to fruition. As part of our grassroots approach, we use online and print media to first distribute our ideas, increase awareness, and build support from the ground up. Then, with sufficient public consensus, we get the attention of decision-makers.
We recognize that for each plan, a different implementation strategy will be developed to accommodate different audiences. In this vein, our team specializes in adaptable public engagement, so we can reach the appropriate audiences. For some, that may be gathering support from industry experts or working with similar agencies. Other plans may need to be more focused on garnering public and media attention.