Stamps alums Jenn Low (MDes ’20), Gowri Balasubramaniam (MDes ’20), and Megan Lewin-Smith (BFA ’17) joined forces for an interdisciplinary collaboration that came to fruition through the next iteration of Low’s MDes thesis project, the Dear Chinatown, DC Mapping Project.
Through partnership with the 1882 Foundation and the generous support of the 2020 AARP (DC Award) Community Challenge Grant, Low, Balasubramaniam and Lewin-Smith worked in collaboration with Throneless Tech, Garima Sharma, and Jelani Byrd to build the Dear Chinatown, DC Mapping Project website and corresponding animation to launch the project to local Washington, D.C. audiences.
The Dear Chinatown project compiled the responses and memories generated from last year’s Dear Chinatown, DC poster-making workshops, and corresponding survey activities and built this website as a tool to capture the perspectives of D.C.’s Chinatown from the history and perspectives of its longtime community members. This beta version of the online platform is intended to increase civic engagement and strengthen community identity, particularly amongst the neighborhood’s longtime, aging residents. Rapid development has made the essential social and public infrastructure of everyday life increasingly inaccessible. Advocates can use the tool to help inform urban planning policies and advocate for the inclusion of community priorities in all redevelopment efforts in Chinatown and hopes to inspire similar projects across the District, where these issues continue to persist and impact our neighborhoods more broadly.
Visit www.dearchinatowndc.org to explore the map and learn more about this important initiative.