Participatory Design Fiction: Community Storytelling for Speculative Urban Technologies


The Sankofa is a mythical bird that
flies to the future while looking back to the past. How will our future of
augmented reality and self-driving cars change our cities? We’re going to run
community workshops and create videos in Leimert park to find out. Leimert Park,
located in South Los Angeles, is a neighborhood with a rich history of
black culture, arts, and music – with famous past residents like Ray Charles, Ella
Fitzgerald, and former Mayor Tom Bradley. The Leimert phone company is a collective between USC, the community, and Kaos Network. We started with our phone booth. We then put together the beat bench and we created a people street. For the last four years we’ve been running workshops to think about how urban technologies
like payphones can help reinforce local identity. But now we’re going one step further. Now we’re going to create these videos to help spark public
conversations to really think about what alternative futures of development
look like – particularly when they’re tied to local culture. So far we’ve re-appropriated objects that people are familiar with, like payphones and bus benches. But the question is – what people would do with new technology, like augmented reality or autonomous vehicles? So this fall, we’ll be working with local artists, musicians,
and residents to imagine the future of the neighborhood.
What will everyday life look like in South LA once you have augmented reality glasses or autonomous vehicles? These design videos will be a powerful
blueprint of our dreams and desires. They will help guide discussions on the
future of the neighborhood. Hello, can I get a ride? -Okay. -Great, thank you.
– Location is confirmed. A shuttle will arrive shortly. Welcome to Los Angeles. Welcome. Take the fast food history tour.
Learn the history of the hamburger and the So Cal… Welcome to Leimert Park. This is the
Sankofa history tour. To your right is the World Stage,
founded by Billy Higgins and Kamau Daáood. And to your left, the Vision Theater. -Shuttle stop. I’ll get out here. – Okay. Have a nice day.




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