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|Graduate Degree: Northeastern University
Undergraduate Degree: Drew University
Areas of Interest: Economic Development
Mentor: Tom Keane, Consultant
Agency: Mayor's Office of Strategic Planning and Community Developement, Somerville
Supervisors: Rob May, Director of Economic Development and Stephen Houdlette, Senior Economic Development Specialist
Project Description: During her time this summer at Somerville's Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development (OSPCD), Lauren Nicoll researched the design industry in Somerville. Part of the overall "creative economy," the design industry is a source of good jobs employing talented, skilled workers. Since Massachusetts has the most architects and designers per capita, Lauren sought out those designers operating within the city of Somerville. She interviewed 21 architects, graphic designers, landscape designers, woodworkers, and other designers to find out their reasons for working in Somerville and what the city can do to help sustain and grow their industry. Lauren analyzed their answers and prepared a report outlining her research and policy recommendations. Working with the OSPCD and the Somerville Arts Council, Lauren plans to use this report to strategize ways that Somerville can support the design industry and grow their role in Boston's creative economy.