bunker hill v and V event header

Making History: Seeing the Future of the Urban Past with XR Technologies

Cosponsored by USC Visions and Voices. Visit visionsandvoices.usc.edu for further information and to RSVP.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Making History will feature a panel discussion and exhibition exploring housing justice in Los Angeles.  

Panel: Students, scholars, and activists will discuss lessons of the past and how they can inform the fight for housing justice today.

Exhibition: The digital exhibition will include a VR experience of a residential hotel at 240 South Figueroa on Bunker Hill from the late 1930s, a building that housed hundreds of working families from around the world. The exhibition will also include a VR representation of the Bunker Hill neighborhood before it was demolished, highlighting the urgency of the current struggle for housing in Los Angeles.  

A reception will follow. 


Ben Caldwell  is a Los Angeles–based arts educator and independent filmmaker. His work has been shown nationally and internationally, most recently at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and Tate Modern. Caldwell taught for fifteen years at CalArts, was a major founding force in CAP (Community Arts Partnership), and founded the KAOS Network community art/tech accelerator center dedicated to providing training on digital arts, media arts, and multimedia in Leimert Park. 

Meredith Drake Reitan is an associate dean in the USC Graduate School and an adjunct associate professor in the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and USC School of Architecture, where she teaches classes on planning, urban design, and heritage conservation. She has written for academic and popular publications including the  Journal of the American Planning Association, Journal of Planning History, and Journal of Urban Design. Her research has been published as part of KCET’s Lost LA  series and on the Urban History Association’s Metropole blog.  

Lifelong resident of Los Angeles Karen Mack is the executive director of LA Commons. She decided to start LA Commons after her work in the civic sector revealed the challenge of building a sense of community in the city, believing that art has the power to address it. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University, where she studied the role of culture in community building, and is an appointed member of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission.