Graduate Summer Institute ’18 Project Archive

Summer 2018 welcomed the ’18-’19 UHI graduate cohort to the Summer Institute (fondly known as our ‘bootcamp’), led by Dr.

CDMX’18 Final Projects

Find links to materials created as part of the current cohort’s final projects from Mexico City —   Better Left

Finding the Commons in LA: Short Films

Urban Humanities concluded its 2017 Fall seminar with a screening of students’ final projects: short films depicting various commons in

Tokyo Ghost Guide

  The Urban Humanities Initiative would like to celebrate the end of a successful fall term. In preparation for the

Where are property rights worth more?

  In his paper, “Where are property right worth more? Assessing variation in the value of deeds across cities in Mexico,” Paavo

Creative Placemaking in Rural Areas

  Margo Handwerker, Lecturer in Architecture and Urban Design, writes about creative placemaking at the intersection between her work as a theorist, researching art as

The Decoder Ring: Raphael Montañez Ortiz, 1933-1952

  Chon Noriega, Director of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center and Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, seeks to decode

DIEZ: 10 Artists, 10 Stories

  Charlene Villaseñor Black, Professor of Art History and Chicana/o Studies, in collaboration with LA-based director Roberto S. Oregel, present DIEZ: 10 Artists,

La Caja Mágica

Seeking Literary Justice   In collaborating with Libros Schmibros, an independent lending library, students  explored how small-scale, staged literary interventions

The Twenty-Minute City

    The Arrival Film, 07:25:00, 2015 In this short film, we explored the various modes of transportation by which

Checkpoint Checkmate

  What’s in the Bag? Film, 05:29:00, 2015 While visiting La Placita, we came across an exhibit at the Museum

La Plataforma Mosaico

La Placita de los Mosaicos Film, 07:07:00, 2015 Our filmic approach towards La Placita creates a mosaic of different voices,


  La Place(cita) Film, 04:17:00, 2015 La Place(cita) is largely motivated by the question: What is the relationship between place


  Erasure Film, 05:53:00, 2015   Our group, Team Formal & Informal, focused on the question of erasure and displacement

Olympics Don’t Kill My Vibe

The Pleasure of La Placita Film, 10:25:00, 2015 Shot at Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles, narrated by Vilma Cruz Baez

Epilogue to a Concession

Paris, Shanghai Video, 2015   The film explores the imagination and re-imagination of lived spaces. Paris, Shanghai presents a coy

The Urban Legend: Playful Contestation in Shanghai

The Cattle Slaughterer’s Daughter Video, 2015 Shanghai is an urban space obsessed with modernization and global acknowledgement. However, constantly striving

1寰9格3核3: The Shanghai Projector System

1寰9格3核3 Video, 2015   1933: The Shanghai Projector is an investigation into the history and memory of Shanghai through the

Invisible Lujiazui (Unstoppable | Unseen)

Invisible Lujiazui Video, 2015 The film documents the life of migrant workers in Shanghai’s newest financial center, Lujiazui. Migrant workers

Shanghai Still Life

Shanghai Skyline, in Four Movements Video, 2015 The film begins with a bite of an apple, a symbol of the

“The Past is Never Dead. It’s Not Even Past.”

Intersection Video, 2015 The film guides the viewer on a visual journey through a small slice of Shanghai, an intersection


Shanghai Becoming Video, 2015 Focusing mainly on smart phone users, the film captures how the screen interfaces between the body

M50 Unscripted

Shanghai Unscripted Video, 2015 Who should art spaces serve? What kind of agency is involved when creating and allocating space

Continuous Cities: Elysian

La Placita: Epicenter of Contested Identities   Central Los Angeles was eviscerated as the city expanded and residents began commuting

Mirrored Cities: Memoria

La Placita: Mapping of the Third Space, Real-and-Imagined Spaces   The map attempts to map La Placita by capturing the

Cities & Time: Mneumonica

 Perceptions and Representations of Chineseness in Los Angeles Chinatown 1871-2014   This map juxtaposes perceptions of Chinese identity at the

Signs & Desire: Laformaterra

 Shifting Streetscapes and Cultural Continuity in Los Angeles’ Chinatown: The Geography of Golden Dragon Parades, 1885-2014   The map aims to

Floating Cities: Mahindroo

Evolution of La Placita: Changing Narratives, Demographics, and Social Connections   The map explores and contrasts the qualitative and quantitative

Thick Cities: Una

Stalling Autopia, Driving a City Los Angeles is a landscape dominated by autopia. When it is stalled, a florescence of

Red Velvet: Nostalgia in Shinjuku

The project examines the specific cultural memory and historical identity of Shinjuku through the examination of three specific technologies of

Shinjuku Misguidance

Starting with the Museum of Modern Art’s 1975 exhibition Shinjuku—The Phenomenal City, the project looks towards ways in which expert

Golden Gai: A Manual for Intimate Publics

The Golden Gai district of Shinjuku is unmistakable for its narrow passageways and wooden structures that house a vast array

Akichi Undercommons

Public spaces in megacities are never uniform in their management or representation, and Tokyo is no exception. Through our Urban

Osaka World Expo

The 1970 World Exposition in Osaka was the first Expo to be held by an Asian country, and until recently,

Weapons of Laugh Destruction

Creative theatrical forms of protest, including clowning, have become visually and tactically prominent through the contemporary global justice movement. This


The project seeks to construct a visual re-mapping of Shuji Terayama’s plays as they shift between meanings of audience, actor,

Okinawa wo Kaese

The song “Okinawa wo Kaese” represents a diffuse and ongoing form of vocal protest. The reproduction and modification of the


Comparing the places of political demonstrations with artistic performances, Body-Violence-City interrogates the dialectical relationship between the changing of social life

Scripting Pershing

Mapping Pershing Thick map, 2013 Pershing Square has been a prominent feature of downtown LA since the residential boom of

Chasing Thresholds

Stratified Sunset Thick Map, 2013 In 2013, the dominant narrative of Sunset Boulevard between La Brea and Sweetzer is one

Grey Zone

The maps, photographs, diagrams, and historical objects included in this installation tell the story of how Los Angeles changed after

Sunset Mashup

The Accident of Nostalgia on Sunset Thick map, 2013 To evoke Sunset Boulevard, is to conjure not so much a

Quilting Wilshire

Quilting Wilshire Thick Map, 2013   This project produces a fragmented street view of a section of Wilshire Boulevard. We

Imaging the City

The construction of cities through images persists across disciplines, even as we understand that cities are too complex and diverse