Lexington is the oldest continuously operating public market in the United States. This historic landmark is not only a treasure of Baltimore for visitors, but also a center for dining and shopping for the surrounding community. The city called a request for proposal for the redevelopment of the market. 
Students from MICA’s Social Design program collaborated with Seawall, the development company working on the Lexington Market redevelopment, for a human-centered design intensive weekend.
Project Team
Francesa Bonifacio, Sasha Avrutina, Kadija Hart, Heidi Good Boncana, Vidisha Agarwalla

This work was conductive during an intensive Human-Centered Design weekend Oct 10 - 14, 2019.

Students divided into three groups that each focused on a specific design challenge. The team that I was a part of was “Lexington Market will better reflect the diversity of the City of Baltimore and increase representation of Black-owned, woman-owned, and city resident-owned businesses.

The team conducted design research by doing observational research and interviewing vendors at markets throughout Baltimore. In this photo is featured Lexington Market.

The opportunity question the team presented was “How might we promote and encourage vendor diversity while still maintaining a spirit of competition”. Recognizing that a competitive spirit is important for a vibrant market but simultaneously wanting to avoid vendor tensions. With the insight in mind, participants from Seawall and MICA faculty participated in an ideation session facilitated by the team. Featured here is the result of this session.

After research, the team organized data points by grouping them and identifying significant themes from what was heard from vendors and patrons of the market. From these themes, insights were developed that would provide a guide for brainstorming design solutions.

After categorizing and voting on what ideas were most effective at addressing the insight, the team went on to develop a prototype of a pop-up event at the market. This event would allow for starting up businesses to have the opportunity to develop their skills and market patrons to try out new cuisines or products. Popular pop-up stands would then have the chance to set up a permanent stall in the market. 

After creating an initial prototype, a feedback session was facilitated by the team to provide critique and additional considerations.

The team with our final prototype.

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