Hadassah Damien is a technologist.
What does that mean?
A technologist builds, researches, and analyzes technologies and, combined with human needs, creates plans, blueprints, products and informed recommendations.
For me, I love that technology can help organize and support our lives. BUT I know it is NOT neutral. So, I center people and use design techniques that center people, get input. I will never be the first person to suggest using a new app, interface, or tool without some serious research.
With technology, I:
- design services and digital interfaces to be efficient and inclusive.
- support secure systems and autonomous use of the internet, in particular digital security for vulnerable communities.
- develop interfaces, software, and workflows that are accessibly optimized for humans and driven by need.
- architect data schemas and open-source software systems for efficient, transparent use.
- build digital catalogs and archives for cultural creators and institutions.
- Organize and document the ever-loving crap out of everything I touch!
I currently work with ConsenSys as a Design Thinking Facilitator, which means combining product strategy, agile, and user-centered design to help teams create valuable blockchain systems and products.
I worked with the Participatory Budgeting Project as the Director of Data and Technology, testing and creating human-centered technology for civic use. I’m particularly proud of the open data project mypb.community.
I believe that defined horizontal structures work incredibly well, and was worker-owner at Openflows Community Technology Coop (2013-2016); recently became a Certified Scrum Master and train formally and informally to level up my people management and facilitation skills.
I believe in both formal and self-directed education, so after receiving a Masters Degree and Certificate in Interactive Technology and Pedagogy from the wonderful CUNY Graduate Center (2011-2013), I spent a year as the Resident Scholar at the Interference Archive.
As a community organizer who also implements technology to help activists succeed, and a multimedia artist who also builds digital archives, my work intersects functionality with agility, practicality, and the democratic politics of open-source cultures. I have collaborated on digital collection sites for John Jay library, The Interference Archive, and more. holds an MA in American Studies, from the CUNY Graduate Center.
In 1987 my grandmother taught me how to sew, and my mother taught me patternmaking, fabrics & crafts; I went on to costume design school and professional production in new and vintage fabrics as well as leather.
In 1994 I began working in print by making zines and went on to edit a university newspaper and Art Direct a magazine along with making posters and flyers for events, book interiors, press kits, CD covers…
In 2000 I began staging photo shoots and digitally editing the images for creative collages; now I’ve styled product and portrait shoots for fine art, editorial print, and web uses.
In 2004 I formed a performance troupe and we realised that the a web presence was the best way to promote ourselves, so I taught myself HTML to make our site; now I’ve built or maintained over a dozen beautiful sites.
In 2005 I decided to begin recording audio, and in 2008 video – and now I teach a DIY audio course and have had my short videos play all over the US, Canada and the EU.
I’m passionate about supporting social justice, free speech, individuals’ self- representations, and the hard work put in by small business owners and working artists to realize their dreams.
My education has been broad, both formal and self-driven, and is lifelong. I care about the work I do and the projects I take on, because they must reflect my vision of a DIY/C [that last “c” is for collectively!] world.
I’ve spent many years building the back end of websites; creating content and visual design for web and print; and consulting on digital strategy and marketing. For you, who may need creative or production assistance:
Cross-genre creative production is my specialty because it is close to the fabric of my life, and I’m thrilled to work with others to share my skills. I offer communication design in web, print, styling and multimedia platforms. I’m pleased to offer special rates to working artists and female or minority-owned small businesses – please contact me for specifics.
Welcome to my blog and portfolio, I look forward to hearing from you if there’s a project you have in mind or a tool or other technologist you think I should know about.