Design Brigade Diary Disks

Diary Disk
May 10 – Jun 20, 2021
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 15, 2021  |  12:00PM


The Diary Disk project is an outcome of the Design Brigade project, initiated by CCAM Director Dana Karwas and Ming Thompson, the co-founder of Atelier Cho Thompson.

Diary Disks are community art installations across New Haven. The Disks are boundless in shape and resemble time portals, acting as pandemic archives of collective memory, stamped with the location and date like a diary entry.

At the heart of the series is a vital sense of belonging to a community. Throughout the pandemic, lives unravel alone in the absence of both physical and social experience. Yet, when the mental space is shared together, it becomes a place where feelings, memories, and well-being are ultimately amplified. The Disks provide a place for New Haven to come together, reflect, and heal collectively as the city perseveres through the pandemic.

In partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs (City of New Haven) and International Festival of Arts & Ideas, Diary Disks will be co-created by various community partners at their own events. People write and draw their responses to a unique prompt on the Disk, observing their experience among many.


The New Haven Diary Disk project is part of a long-term research and design initiative called Design Brigade founded by Yale Center for Collaborative Arts & Media and Atelier Cho Thompson. The Diary Disks are just one part of our vision to create a more permanent healing space in New Haven. Since May 2021, the Design Brigade: On Memory team has been working closely with the Department of Cultural Affairs, designing the beginnings of a memorial for those affected by COVID-19 and addressing the systemic inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic. Our extensive outreach, urban research, and design work culminated in a proposal to create a series of Art Parks, serving as a greenspace for healing, celebrating the city’s resilience and compassion, and providing opportunities to promote local art and artists.

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