Role: Set Designer
Public design festival highlighting local community identity and urban play.
For: The Living Room Collective
We built a community living room on the steps of Oakland's City Hall!
For the Our City Festival, a group of collaborators spearheaded by Albert Kong formed The Living Room Collective to dream up and bring to life this installation.
I designed and set-dressed this cozy, local-yet-[Westernly]-universal set, complete with a faux fireplace, toy box, family games, and storybook library. In addition to these familiar features of a traditional communal space, the Our City living room featured two walls of framed digital screens to showcase images of festival attendees -- Oakland's very own family portrait wall.
Our team joined forces with the kids of the West Oakland Youth Center who painted a mural on the reverse of the walls to commemorate those lost in our community, who are, now as ever, family. This mural doubled as the family portrait backdrop for the framed digital images.
My favorite parts of this project were seeing our neighbors make themselves comfortable in the space, transforming it from installation to true "third place."
A mother read her toddler stories from one of the rocking chairs; parents hung out at the counter as their kids shot hoops at a neighboring installation. Later in the afternoon friends pulled up chairs and made themselves at home until they spilled down the steps of City Hall into the iconic Frank Ogawa Plaza , playing board games and carrying on conversations. We even had a late-night Bedtime Story Hotline live reading!