Faculty Members Help Build App to Revolutionize Tenant-Landlord Communication
Relationships between Chicago’s landlords and tenants are a little stronger, thanks to a revolutionary new web-based mobile app researched and designed by Greater Good Studio founders and SAIC faculty members George Aye and Sara Cantor Aye. A project of the Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO) funded by the MacArthur Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, and Chicago Community Trust, Squared Away Chicago allows renters to document and communicate issues to their landlords in real time, contributing to “faster issue resolution, increased accountability and fewer misunderstandings.” (Watch a video explaining the app here, or learn more at Smart Chicago Collaborative and the MacAruthur Foundation blog.)The technology, launched in November, also archives all communication in a virtual paper trail, “providing a little protection to both parties” should issues persist, says reporter Mary Ellen Podmolik in the October 18 edition of the Chicago Tribune. Greater Good Studio, which operates under the motto “design for citizens,” was founded in order to use design methods to solve social problems. In October 2012 the Ayes received the $10,000 City 2.0 grant from TED to support Designing Chicago: New Tools for Public Transit, a project that leverages public participation and design to improve citywide navigation.