The Girl: A Compendium // Strategy

The Girl: A Compendium, “Lean prototyping for making books:” an iterative approach to compendium design.


Why produce a compendium about girls at SYP?

SYP began learning about the subject of girls and their empowerment through working with Girl Effect. With girls on the agenda for the Fall 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals, the summer of 2015 was the perfect time to make the case for girls. 


How was this compendium made?

Time + space + people. The compendium was made in about 4-5 weeks using a process of very fast revs—prototyping the book in-house. After each iteration, there was a formal review. This iterative process itself became the leader and the teacher—it allowed for greater productivity and efficiency, a high quality of work in a short amount of time, and enabled the team to maintain flow and communication with one another. 


But first, make a book. After an initial few weeks of exploratory research, and mapping the “world of girls” in both the political, social and business spheres, we began framing while simultaneously, beginning to actually produce models of books in house. 


Team structure: diverse minds = innovative ideas: When making a compendium—a piece of design meant to provoke and impress—the same frameworks of the past will not do. We had to innovate. A wide variety of ages and experiences was key to making the compendium great. We found the best girl stories on the Internet, produced original content, both visual and verbal, often crossing predetermined roles as designers strategists and producers. 

team: Keith Yamashita, Todd Holcomb, Kate Boydell, Laura Vignale, Julia Plevin, Chelsea Brownridge, Elyssa Dole, Marianna Mezhibovskaya, Chad Hendricks, Sofia Vizitiu