We’re coming to an end on our elevator research. We thought it was time to identify why we chose elevators.

From buildings, infrastructure and organizations, elevators can be used as a proxy to understand how inclusive society is.

Map of stations that are elevator friendly.

355 out of 472 stops do not have elevators. Which means 75% of all NYC’s stations are not accessible.

To get a better understanding of how this impacts people who need elevators to get around NYC we were in search of data sources related to disabled populations. But the latest data sources we could find were data collected in 1840.


Take a look the change in New York’s 65+ population between 2000 and 2017.

Map made from social explorer 2019 Nov

It’s evident to see New York aging. With this in mind, if we take a step back and take a look at our surroudings (surroundings meaning: homes, public spaces and public transporation) we have to ask..

“With advancing technology and innovation happening everywhere in New York City is our subway system advancing to support the growing needs of our growing senior population or is it just growing old with them?”

From MTA’s Subway Reduced-Fare MetroCard Usage data we were able to get our hands on the…


I still remember my social studies teacher telling me in high school “If you want to see how “good” a city is, check to see if there are any disabled people nearby. What are they doing? Do they seem to be comfortable there?”.

I was at the Met the other day, not knowing how enormous the museum was, I was eager to finish seeing everything just in one day. Exhausted from a four-hour stroll I was in desperate need of an elevator. While tirelessly looking for one I finally came across an elevator but to my surprise a huge line…


Scraping through my childhood memories to understand who I am and where I want to be.

DREAM 1: Interior designer (age 8–9)

The environment: My parents were grad school students in America. Money was always a problem. Hence when looking for things her daughters would enjoy after school my mother found all the free after-school programs available for us and studio Art was one of them.

The action taken: Once a fire department, the art studio in which I took my first art class ever was a space like no other. In the middle of nowhere Oklahoma, there stood a two story white wooden house. It was spring and smell of grass that came up…


I was scrolling down job search portals for summer internships and came across a job title I have never seen before. UX WRITER. To those who are deeply embedded in the tech industry, the UX writer role may be of little surprise. But as an ex-professional in the tech industry who is now a fresh grad student studying in the fields of design research, I was like “OMG. It’s happening!”

Whether it be a poster, a product, or an interface, designers have the superpowers to visualize their output. Being a graphic design major, I was lucky enough to study the…

Grace Kwon

Designer, researcher, and strategist at @Purpose by day teaching community design and mapping @svadsi by night

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store