Media and Memory meet Sanctuary

TFT's REMAP engages the public with innovative applications at the New Los Angeles State Historic Park

Downtown Los Angeles is about to get a memory boost.

Dean Teri Schwartz, Assistant Dean, Technology and Innovation Jeff Burke, Professor Fabian Wagmister and members of TFT’s Center for Research in Engineering, Media and Performance (REMAP) team were present on Saturday, March 15 at the groundbreaking ceremony celebrating phase one construction of permanent park facilities at Los Angeles State Historic Park (LASHP), a project 12 years in the making.

Right in the center of all the action is REMAP, which for the past seven years, has been collaborating with California State Parks in the creation of the Interpretive Media Laboratory (IMLab), a permanent part of the 32-acre park located just east of Chinatown. A brief presentation took place at IMLab during the event.

Created by Wagmister and Burke, IMLab harnesses emerging technologies, cutting-edge research, and media creativity to generate new ways for communities to use public space for discovery and interpretation of culture, history and nature; to engage civic processes that transform neighborhoods; and to share their stories.

IMLab employs participatory design and site-specific authorship to build interactive media environments and location-based mobile experiences that enable community-based storytelling and strengthening identity and promoting engagement.

“During the year of construction of the park we will focus our efforts on the creation of a powerful immersive interactive storytelling system for the park’s Welcome Center,” Professor Wagmister says. “TFT faculty and students will integrate physical computing, interpretive databases, collective authoring and navigation interfaces and a uniquely powerful multi-touch large screen to allow the park’s surrounding communities and visitors in general to explore the history, natural resources, and urban dynamics of Los Angeles. The idea is to create a “park with memory,” reflective of the past, dialogic about the present, and fully engaged in the future.”

In addition to the March 15 ceremony, which was attended by California State Parks Director Major General Anthony L. Jackson, USMC (Ret.); Senator Kevin De Leon; Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez; and Councilmember Gil Cedillo, State Parks staff hosted an open house on Thursday, March 13 from 7:00-8:00 p.m. to provide an overview of the schedule for construction at the Goodwill Metro North WorkSource Center located at 342 North San Fernando Road in Los Angeles. TFT was on hand with information regarding interpretive resources and innovative applications being created for LASHP that the public can engage with during construction of the new park facilities.

IMLab at the Los Angeles State Historic Park will be a uniquely powerful living laboratory for TFT’s faculty and students to explore new forms of media expression about, for and by the people of Los Angeles.

For more information on the project, please visit the LASHP’s website

Posted: March 17, 2014