our nyc journeys

Urban Experience LMCC Grant Winner Project

This is an online subjective map that invites New Yorkers to share their memories, associated with nyc locations.

The project is the end product of a grant our team won in Creative Engagement, by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC). Our nyc journeys is dedicated to the people who were once new to the city and moved in from another place, either within or outside of the US.

An average nyc day includes hundreds of people
walk past beside us or stand next to us at the traffic lights.

How often do we feel connected?


Our nyc journeys has the power to connect New Yorkers who walk the same streets and share similar experiences in the city.

The concept is based on the theory of culture shock;
a series of emotions that newcomers often experience. Culture shock defines the 4 stages that a person goes through when adjusting to a new environment.
We turned the culture shock stages into nyc-themed chapters.
The 4+ chapters compose a person’s nyc journey and our participants are invited to match their memories to a chapter and a nyc location.

Project Goal
Our nyc journeys aims to highlight New York as a unifier that brings together a disconnected audience. By turning the city map into a collection of interwoven individual journeys our participants see beyond the elements that set them apart. This subjective map creates an alternative urban geography, revealing the emotional dimension of a human city.

The team - by xx
Changhyun Lee
Tina Columbus
YunRay Chung
By xx is a multi-disciplinary, New York-based collective including exhibition & experience designers as well as artists. We combine experimental language and strategic tools to create collective experiences for the audience. Our team uses design as a medium to generate questions and spark dialogue among the participants.

The inspiration for this project came from personal experiences, as all of our members were once new to NYC.

The project started as a physical installation, taking over parks of NYC for one month. Covid emerged and what was at first an exhibit, had to be transformed into an online experience, having the same vision and goals.

Almost overnight we took action to support the needs of the project; we dove into UX & UI design, coding, content writing, audience research, formative evaluation, video production and social media strategy.

Before launching our official website in summer of 2020, we had 4 months of beta running, 20+ user testings, 10+ expert interviews and 1000+ visitors.

Participate in our nyc journeys!
The Beta version of the website was released in June 2020. Special thanks for the support to LMCC and the experts that we interviewed, as well as the participants, for helping create the online community.

Copyright © 2022 TINA COLUMBUS