Design Studio for Social Intervention Opens Social Emergency Response Centers following Trump Inauguration

Lori Lobenstine

The horrifying Trump win underscores the reality that we are all living in a state of social emergency, even if it affects each of us differently.

In emergencies like hurricanes and tsunamis, emergency response centers exist to coordinate evacuations or provide services like temporary housing, food, and water.  We want you to join us in re-imagining response centers to take on the real and pressing social emergency that we are facing today. 

Social Emergency Response Centers (SERCs) are temporary, emergent, and creative pop-up spaces co-led by activists and artists around the US. They function as both an artistic gesture and a practical solution. As such they seek to find the balance between the two, answering questions like: “How will we feed people--and their hunger for justice?” “How will we create a shelter--where it's safe to bring your whole damn self?” “What will reconstruction--of civil society--look like?” The space will include opportunities for participants to step into creative action, healing, collective making, performances, and more. All are welcome. 

For more information visit and You can also reach out to DS4SI directly at [email protected].

SERCs Around the Country:

DS4SI and volunteers are also designing kits to be distributed to sites around the country to support other communities in creating and hosting their own SERCs. Each SERC will be designed with the help of a diverse group of residents including artists, healers, builders, cooks, comics, etc. DS4SI hopes to have 5-15 SERCs running within the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency and is currently looking for groups and individuals looking to lead a SERC in their city, town, or neighborhood. Currently there are SERCs being developed with partners in Boston, Atlanta, NYC, LA, and Orange, NJ- and the list continues to grow.

More about DS4SI:

DS4SI’s mission is to change how social justice is imagined, developed and deployed in the United States. It designs social interventions, creativity labs and public art to engage communities in imagining and designing new solutions to social problems. They have been exploring the concept of social emergency for over two years, initially as a written case for social emergency procedures after the mass of state sanctioned violence against the black community.