Five Points to Five Notes

Five Points to Five Notes is a community co-creation initiative created to honor the rich cultural heritage in some of the most vibrant and artistically significant neighborhoods in Denver: River North (RiNo) Art District, Five Points, Cole, Elyria-Swansea, and Globeville. CMTC’s Design Innovation Team is contributing by creating a technology-enabled historic culture walk that will span the entire Five Points area. The project is also slated to include a large-scale public art installation and themed mural installation. The project team has developed mechanisms for deep engagement with community members, while currently prototyping and testing concepts, and seeking additional funding. 

Contact us if you are interested in supporting this wonderful project.

Enjoy this short video filmed with Five Points residents as a glimpse of what this project has in store:

Five Points to Five Notes is, above all else, about empathizing with a community and empowering that community through the creation of a communal platform for residents and local businesses in the area. On this platform, developed by our CMTC team alongside collaborators on campus and in our community, people will be able not only to connect with the community as it currently exists, but also learn about the rich history and culture of the Five Points neighborhoods. One way that we empathize with and empower the community is through a land acknowledgement statement: recognizing the past and current peoples of Five Points to inform a vibrant future.

We acknowledge that this city sits on Arapaho, Cheyenne, Ute, and Sioux land. We acknowledge the harm that this country — a settler-colonialist nation — caused by systemically and forcibly removing indigenous people from their land. We acknowledge the accompanying harms of slavery, white supremacy, and systemic racism. We acknowledge the history of redlining and housing discrimination in these neighborhoods as well.  

Native people still live here. Black and Brown people still live here. We pay our respects to the BIPOC people who — in the face of great harm — made even greater contributions to these neighborhoods and communities. We acknowledge that acknowledgment is not, in and of itself, enough. This platform was created as, among other things, a de-colonizing anti-racist tool to envision more equitable futures while engaging with our exquisite, resilient histories.

One of our primary goals in this project is to make sure our project was made for the 5 Points community. In order to ascertain the community’s needs, we used journey mapping and systems functions to determine specific requirements needed for our prototypes. By utilizing a main phone application in conjunction with what is known as “deep linking” to connect users to web sources outside the app, along with templates making it easy to add content, we can create a scalable and iterable end product that will enable the community to shape the expression of their own stories and experiences of Five Points.

A basic function model identifies key groups of functionality for the app. The main mechanisms that deliver the experience are highlighted: the software shell that enables user interaction and content display; stories, art, and narratives from the community; and the delivery and engagement users have with the Five Points to Five Notes experience.

This project celebrates the Five Points community while making an interactive experience for all to enjoy. To deliver on a fun, engaging experience, our team is drawing on symbols and stories from the community’s rich history, new technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), and concepts from video games.

This initial mindmap gives insight into the team’s big goals for the Five Points to Five Notes project. Leveraging symbols from the community in the form of locations and heroes; to sharing stories that give insight into experiences and morals; to key functionality of elevating the Five Points neighborhood, its voices, art, and music without a technological burden.

Five Points has been at the center of major gentrification projects in Denver, and the BIPOC communities who call Five Points home have faced the real potential of losing their history. To combat this, our team is dedicated to making sure the community can naturally build up and cater the content available on the platform. We engage with the community by encouraging submissions from the community for new story content, collaborations with community members as we develop and test prototypes, interviews to surface and share stories, and emphasizing an open source platform to make this experience available for other communities to create.

See some images of our team’s early prototypes below. Contact us today to engage and let us know what you think!

A prototype for a social media postcard that allows Five Points to Five Notes users to share their experience as they visit locations along the art and culture walk in Five Points.
A prototype of the mobile application conceptualized and in development by the CMTC team. The user interface includes motifs that hearken to locations in Five Points, colors that inspire, and curated photos of Five Points locations.