Research & Brand Strategy
Client: Bezos Family Foundation
Early Learning Campaign
United States

Our team was tasked with creating a communications campaign to encourage low- and middle-income parents and guardians in the United States to engage with their 0-5 year-old children in ways that best spur brain development. The first month of our work was strictly research, conducting dozens of expert interviews, and spending time with parents and families around the country. 

Our final brand concept was highly positive, assuring parents that most every type of active engagement they do with their child helps to build their brain. The point was to turn conventional black-and-white messaging around parenting on its head, to encourage parents to find small moments in their everyday routines to engage with their children, rather than feeling like they needed to devote huge amounts of uninterrupted time at home reading to their children. From our research, messaging that included this kind of unattainable goal were non-starters--parents simply tuned them out.

The campaign was meant to reframe what “counted” as good parenting, and who could be a good parent. This work was rolled out nationally as the platform Vroom, which has now reached over 2 million families nationwide.


Research & Ideation
Airbel Impact Lab @ International Rescue Committee
Client: Bernard Van Leer Foundation
Early Learning Models Ideation 
Syrian Response Region

SOSHL partnered with the Bernard Van Leer Foundation, in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee’s Airbel Impact Lab, to undertake a short research and ideation process to look for new models to teach early childhood development concepts to parents living in displacement contexts.

The focus was on looking for accessible channels to meet parents where they were, through structures that would fit the reality of their daily lives. After spending time with displaced families in Jordan and Lebanon, we focused primarily on in-person activities and other ways to build organic parent  communities, as well as on appropriate ways to use mass media to build a baseline of knowledge.

These concepts were workshopped with a group of subject-matter experts in preparation to look for pilot funding.

Credit: Airbel Impact Lab @ International Rescue Committee

Research & Prototyping
Client: DKT International
Batela Lobi Na Yo
Kinshasa, DRC

DKT International, one of the largest providers of subsidized birth control in the global south, asked our team to help them create a new brand that would encourage young people to use contraception, with a focus on long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs). This brand would be launched in Kinshasa, and eventually spread to the rest of DKT’s presence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

We began with a deep dive into the type of tone that would most resonate with teens, creating a series of different posters along with a set of varying message cards for comparison. Based on this initial research, we came up with some very initial branding directions, and decided to focus on testing which channels would be most effective in encouraging teens to head to a clinic to learn more about contraceptive options.

We created a set of vouchers, each color-coded to one outreach channel, and then ran promotions through each channel, funneling teens to a clinic day at a partner clinic, where consultations would be available with a voucher. We were able to use the color coding to understand which type of outreach had been most successful. 
As part of our work in organizing the clinic day, we commissioned an original song to evoke the power of “Batela Lobi Na Yo,” or Protect Your Future.” This is a tagline that married the two things we heard over and over with birth control - that it was a way for girls to protect themselves, and that it was a bridge toward the future life that they wanted to live. We also commissioned a local girls drama club to write and perform an original play to illustrate this issue.

During the event, we passed around actual IUDs, implants, and injections, knowing that this would be the first time many of them had actually seen the real methods.

Our more refined visual direction used bold colors and photography of “near peer” girls, along with icons for each method, shown where they will be placed on a girl’s body. Each method includes its own “power pose,” to further the confident, future-focused mindset we wanted the brand to imbue.


Research & Architecture
Harvard Design School
Advisors: Herzog & De Meuron
Negotiated Bodies / Gendered Spaces
Cairo, Egypt

This project studied how women in Cairo use public space, and their place in the public realm. This research was completed pre-revolution in 2010 - 2011 as part of a research thesis under architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre De Meuron.

Cairo has one of the highest rates of sexual harassment in the world, with most women citing sexual harassment encounters on a daily basis. This project studied how this environment affected women's use of public spaces, coping mechanisms and methods of fighting back, and spaces of appropriation within the city. I mapped the areas of highest harassment, and then proposed a network of semi-public spaces to serve as safe spaces in a place where even daily errands are often a source of shame and fear.

Credit: Harvard Graduate School of Design
Cleveland, Ohio