Project Lower 9th

This blog is an archive of design process created by multi-disciplinary students from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. We are exploring how design can make a difference in the course of reuniting Lower 9th Ward residents. Please join our journey in helping the people of New Orleans.

March 08, 2006

What is our project???

Just to clarify exactly what we're doing in our project. I thought it is a good time to write down our design brief today since we just finished our mid-term presentation at school.

What: {Traveling suitcase}
{Traveling suitcase} is a new way of communication device. It uses both physical and on-line community to our advantage to create a more personal and meaningful way to connect with people who matter after natural disaster catastrophes. As {Traveling suitcase} connects displaced communities of New Orleans, we're hoping that it will also become a catalyst for communities to come together as one voice so that they can take a part of rebuilding process.

{Traveling suitcase} will travel back and fourth between art center and various displaced communities of New Orleans. We are providing one {Traveling suitcase} for each community (ex. lower ninth ward) so that it can really represents the special community and community members through which the box have traveled. Participants will be introduced to the involvement of the project by reference base (we ask previous participant to introduce us a possible following participant so that there will be more opportunity for this box to be much more personal and meaningful)
We will make sure that collection of opinions and physical artifacts will be archived properly and respectfully. We like to share the experience of {Traveling suitcase} and also the voices / stories archived using both physical and on-line exhibition & library. We feel that it is appropriate if collection of artifacts return to original community as a part of memorial....

What is sent to participants inside of {Traveling suitcase}?
1. Back story of who we are and what this project is about
2. Blank canvas of recording template to record their opinions and voices on rebuilding issues(audio, forms to fill out...)
3. Empty container for participants to archive their personal artifacts (their meaningful objects that they want to archive as part of community's history... we like to keep this container to be "their story"... so what is going to be inside is little more opened to participants to decide)
4. Place for their imprints to be engraved.... This imprints will stay through the entire cycle of process so that following participants can see where this box has been through.
5. Place for reference information of next participants to be recorded and a special message to them (this will be sent to the next participant untouched)

We believe that each displaced New Orleans citizen should have opportunity to be heard and included in recovery /rebuilding process. We're approaching this in a very grass-roots way because we feel that each resident is special and we have learned that he/she has a lot to offer in a rebuilding process. We're hoping that the skills/tools which we have learned from art center can apply to the design of {Traveling suitcase} and how it works so that this could really happen:)

The first cycle of the "box" will start in next couple weeks.

We are doing this project because we were inspired by the spirit of New Orleans residents especially Lower 9th ward residents many of whom we were able to interview while we were visiting Big Easy in Nov.05 and Feb.06. So this project is purely to assist and support local residents of Lower 9th ward and greater New Orleans....


  • At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Can someone from this project please contact me at

    I am a resident of the Lower 9th and on the Holy Cross (an historic district part of the L9 district) Neighborhood Assoc. Board. If you are really attempting to locate residents of our neighborhood...we could use your help. And would like to invite your representatives to our community meetings. Thanks.



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