This was a huge project that required codification and a viable plan for implementation. At the end of 2012, I launched the Virtual Redevelopment project in conjunction with the relaunch of Watts House Project 2.0.
Thanks to new technology provided by Verold Studio, the VRD allowed us to render individual homes in Watts in 3D. The virtual models functioned as a host for new designs and as a generator of ideation and innovation. The VRD solved many problems – families were able to view the design changes to the home in realtime; reduced waste, time, and money on foam core models; provided an opportunity to teach new technologies to the residents, especially the children (side note: my 3 year old nephew can work a tablet better than I can); and allowed for more collaboration between artists/designers/architects and families in the creative process.
The mission of the organization was still the same: “bring residents together in a creative partnership with artists, architects, design professionals, and volunteers to revitalize the neighborhood and re-imagine the environment through inventive programming, community involvement, and functional and creative housing renovations.”
So what did I change?
New scope of work: color of exterior walls of the home, front landscape, front fence, lighting, and an addition of renewable technology (photovoltaic or solar thermal panels).
Increased collaboration: the families contributed directly to the creative process.
Sense of place: the feel of the VRD was pliable (as a space for experimentation and viewing design changes) yet detailed in its depiction of the real conditions of the home and environment. Most importantly, it served as an excellent platform for transitioning designs from digital to analog- at no cost to the families!
USC School of Architecture (Professor Victor Jones and students Gordon Yu and Adan Macias)
Step-by-step process I developed: