Exhibit allows visitors to see LA’s future
USC Libraries Discovery Fellow Geoff Manaugh came to Doheny Memorial Library on Thursday evening to introduce a new exhibit: “Los Angeles to be Determined,” an interactive project that incorporates game design, storytelling and architectural modeling to allow visitors to visualize Los Angeles in the future.The L.A.T.B.D exhibit is located in the Treasury Room in Doheny. It will allow visitors to take a look at USC’s archives of L.A. history as well as the possibilities that citizens have to imagine and create their own future for the city of Los Angeles. This exhibit is unique because it will give visitors an interactive glimpse into L.A.’s past, as well as explore L.A.’s possibilities for the future.L.A.T.B.D was created by architecture and design writer Geoff Manauagh. He is a writer of the architecture blog BLDGBLOG. He worked in collaboration with London architects Mark Smout and Laura Allen from the firm Smout Allen. Professor Jeff Watson and his students at the School of Cinematic Arts were also able to share their insight on the game-design aspect as well.“Design is a way of imagining the future,” Watson said. “Collaborative games are about creative brainstorming. It is a good way to structure that community imagination about a certain place.”This exhibit is a manifestation of utilizing USC’s archival collection of Los Angeles to create a relationship between urban design and architecture.“It is interesting how this exhibit combines a virtual game with architectural design. Students should come to this exhibit to learn about the future of L.A. and USC in terms of design and architecture,” said Chen Zou, a first-year graduate student of business and analytics.When creating this game for L.A.’s design future, the collaborators conducted extensive research. Researchers took many things into consideration when creating L.A.T.B.D. Some of these aspects included Los Angeles’s freeway system, demography, landscape, gentrification, climate and history. Students have already begun to talk about how L.A. can evolve.“The diversity of L.A.’s architecture is one of my favorite things about this city. When I think about the future of L.A., I think about ways that USC can be expanded,” said Ivy Hu, a graduate student in education. “It is also exciting because the presentation is impressive. Those that worked to create it are very qualified.”When visitors walk into the Treasury Room, they will be greeted by a description of the exhibit. On their left will be a collection of USC’s archive on L.A. history. There will be a display of actual artifacts mixed with fake, or ghost, artifacts designed by the creators.“With these ghost artifacts, our plan is to blur the line between fact and fiction,” Manaugh said.He explained that the goal is to turn an abstract idea into something concrete. This exhibit was created to encourage visitors to have an open mind about the future, something Zou feels is important.“L.A. is very decentralized, and it is hard for me to travel Downtown,” Zou said. “I really like how this exhibit can cause discussion for the future of L.A. It is important to think about how to make a better future.”Because it is designed like a board game, visitors can gather information to create ideas of how they think L.A.’s architected future should look. The exhibit will then lead visitors to a series of 3D urban models that show hypothetical moments in L.A.’s future. These models were created by architects Smout and Allen.