Context: Place-Based Design Course
Client: United States Postal Service
Timeline: 3 months
Role: Project Management; Design
Team: Danny Cho, Amanda Kennedy,
Jenna Kim, and Tyler Stern
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is so ubiquitous it is almost invisible. Controlling over 35,000 facilities with over 300,000 vehicles, it is the only entity that services every home in every neighborhood almost every day. In 2016 USPS facilities hosted over 2.7 billion unique visitors. As a $70B dollar entity it would list in the top 50 of the Fortune 100 largest businesses. Despite this physical presence and distribution capability there is no meaningful process to engage with local place-based revitalization, economic development or smart city initiatives.
From Postal Networks to Community Places, a course out of Carnegie Mellon’s Design Center, explored how and where to integrate innovative solutions within the Postal Service network. My team saw an opportunity for the United States Postal Service to utilize its own infrastructure to help bridge the country’s broadband divide. We proposed that the USPS become a broker of broadband connectivity to maintain its mission of connecting people across the US with each other based on its trusted reputation within communities and its Universal Service Obligation.