Premiered at the 2018 Pan African Film Festival: paff.org/films/#!/film/sankofa_city
Winner of "Best Design Study" at the CHI 2018 Video Showcase: youtube.com/watch?v=MciXrmf7JMg
"Sankofa City" is a community design project envisioning concepts and prototypes for the future of urban technology, such as augmented reality and self-driving cars. Based in Leimert Park in South LA, neighborhood residents and USC students work in teams to imagine alternative futures tied to local culture. This final video is based on 3 months of workshops and prototyping.
The project is part of a longer ongoing collaboration called "The Leimert Phone Company," which has worked to repurpose urban furniture (payphones, bus benches, etc.) and helped to establish the Leimert Park People St. pedestrian plaza.
More info on Sankofa City: facebook.com/SankofaCity/
More info on the Leimert Phone Company: leimertphonecompany.net/
Leimert Park is currently the site of heated discussions about gentrification and cultural displacement, as developers plan for the opening of a new subway stop there in 2020. The "Sankofa City" project complements other ongoing community planning groups by focusing on long-term strategies and imaginative solutions. By working directly with residents, this project creates alternative models for local innovation, cultural preservation, and sustainable urban development. "Sankofa City" is generating a cross-disciplinary methodology for future-facing participatory design by combining the disparate fields of urban planning, community art, education, social science research, and speculative design.