Conneted Messages



It is within this larger landscape of participatory public murals that we situate our design of an interactive community mural, called Connected Messages. The context and content of the public, participatory and interactive display drew on Philadelphia’s identity as the “City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection” and Lady Gaga’s “Born Brave” bus tour in 2013.

Connected Messages provided a summer project opportunity for youth in the city of Philadelphia to both create and share ideas with their community in the form of mural displays as well as through the web, communicating their messages of concern, safety as well as love and acceptance across the city and around the world using Free Library branches as makerspaces.

This approach brings together community outreach efforts of engaging youth in designing interactive murals with themes relevant to their lives, and uses low-cost networking technologies of connecting local groups with global audiences. We describe the design of an interactive community mural that functions like a public display, which can be remotely programmed through an online interface.

Papers + Presentations

Kafai, Y., Telhan, O., Davis, R. L., Steele, K. F., & Adleberg, B. (2018). Making Connected Messages: Designing Community-Relevant Murals With Youth in Public Libraries. In Reconceptualizing Libraries (pp. 55-71). Routledge. [LINK]

Lee, V. R., Tzou, C., Bang, M., Bell, P., Stromholt, S., Adleberg, B., ... & Steele, K. F. (2017). Libraries as Emerging Spaces for Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning in Schools and Communities. Philadelphia, PA: International Society of the Learning Sciences. [LINK]

Telhan, O., Kafai, Y. B., Davis, R. L., Steele, K., & Adleberg, B. M. (2014, June). Connected messages: a maker approach to interactive community murals with youth. In Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Interaction design and children (pp. 193-196). ACM. [LINK]