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  • Camille Jao

  • ASSEMBLE: A Recipe for Public Social Engagement

    Interior Design (BFA)

    ASSEMBLE: A Recipe for Public Social Engagement
    My project proposes a public space design strategy for Chinatown that will allow end users to adjust the physical design to meet their specific site and needs. Located on the sidewalk on Grand Street, the design is aimed at strengthening community engagement and alleviating social and economic burdens by addressing the community's needs through adaptable design tools. Informal street vending is a hugely important activity in Chinatown. It serves both as an essential business for the community and a unique cultural experience for tourists. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to anti-Asian sentiments and a fear of being in public for many, it has been difficult for this community to sustain its system, especially as immigrants are struggling to obtain government support. My design strategy empowers end users with the agency to reshape their communal spaces at a low cost, with accessible, maintenance-friendly materials and simple assembly methods. The project is shaped by the belief that those who are most affected by it should have a say in the design process, pushing designers to focus on direct engagement with users instead of projecting their own needs.
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