Ahmanson Lab: Collaboratory - 2021-2022
The Chinatown History Project (CHP) is a multi-faceted research and outreach endeavor to uncover the people and places of Los Angeles’ “first Chinatown” prior to its demolition in the late 1930s. The CHP will be working throughout 2021-2022 with potential partners, including the city of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Metro, to design and build digital projects that commemorate Old Chinatown for the 150th anniversary of the 1871 Chinese massacre.
Through the first term, Collaboratory students will assist with the historical research regarding the establishment of Los Angeles Chinatown, the people and businesses that arose there from the mid-19th century forward, and the topography and urban layout of this polyglot community. As the term deepens, Collaboratory students will begin to work with Ahmanson Lab staff as well as students in Cinema to strategize a digital project that best visualizes what was lost of “old Chinatown.”
Through the Spring term, Collaboratory students will help design a digital project and explore installation opportunities with CHP partners. This digital project may take the form of an AR or VR experience, or an interactive 3-D model of “first Chinatown.”
Bunker Hill Refrain provides an opportunity for scholars and the general public to reimagine the history of Los Angeles by telling the stories of a neighborhood erased by urban renewal. Over the course of a year, the research team will use three sources of data created by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s (an architectural model, maps, and census data) to create a digital project that visualizes the material and social environment of the hill before and after redevelopment.
Students in the Bunker Hill Refrain Collaboratory will conduct research with primary sources, work with GIS data, and explore ways to output their findings in various digital formats, including digital mapping and storytelling, data visualizations, and 3D modeling and VR.