Digital Equity Bus
Black & Veatch - Kansas City, Mo | Evergreen Goodwill of Northwest Washington - Seattle, WA
Before going too far into the details of the digital equity bus, I need to say that this was easily my favorite project of my career. Not only did the end results turn out amazing, but it also brings so much good to the world. Here's a little background on what the digital equity bus is, and why it came to be:
Bridging the “digital divide” long has been a part of Evergreen Goodwill of Northwest Washington's mission. But according to the Washington State Department of Commerce, the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the impact of that divide for 45% of the state’s residents who either have no internet access or are coping with very slow internet speeds. As a result, in association with Black & Veatch in Kansas City, Ks, we launched a state-of-the-art “Digital Equity Bus,” which we lovingly named "DEB".
DEB's mission is to bring Goodwill’s computer literacy and workforce development classes to people in rural and historically under-resourced communities and allows us to extend its mission programming to reach even more people during this critical time when many people now rely on access to technology and Wi-Fi for work and school.
The mobile classroom spans 36 feet in length and features workstations for as many as 10 students and multiple instructors, complete with a retractable awning that creates exterior classroom space for as many as 30 additional students. It also comes equipped with power outlets, wireless connectivity, charging stations, pop-up chairs and tables, and sound-amplifying equipment, as well as specialized equipment to make the classroom more accessible.
I had the honor of bringing the look of this new technological wonder to life. Working directly with Evergreen Goodwill's VP of Mission and the executive leadership team of Black & Veatch, I developed concepts for the interior and exterior look of DEB. Here are some of the concepts as the design developed over time:
Being in the future, I love looking back on these draft examples and seeing the DEB I know today slowly come to life.
In the process of designing, it was important for me to showcase the look of the bus as accurately as possible but also exaggerate some of the limitations of the printing method. For example, many of the stakeholders wanted the Evergreen Goodwill logo to be large and on the windows, which I urged against since the windows would be perforated and make the smaller text of the logo difficult to read.
DEB is the first of several buses of her type that will be roaming the counties of Kitsap, Snohomish, King, Island, San Juan, and Whatcom Counties in the state of Washington. Hopefully you'll see her around!
For now, enjoy a video that was created to celebrate DEB's official ribbon cutting: