Monday, March 26, 2007

Power Walking

During this past week I chose Boyle Heights as the site for my thesis semester (fall 07); I briefly worked with this location last fall and have found a few things I like:

First of all, it is located just east of d
owntown on the other side of the river. Before the river structure was built the river used to overflow on to the land; the Heights used to produce all the food for the Los Angeles area during the 1800s with agriculture. The city feels like an oasis within its surroundings.

Second, the
Golden State (I-5), Hollywood (U.S. Route 101), Pomona (CA-60), San Bernardino (I-10), Santa Ana (I-5), and Santa Monica (I-10) freeways all meet here, you can see it in the map. The gold line will be running through First St. in the Heights by the end of 2009.

Third. Boyle Heights has always been a starting point for migrants, land has always been cheap here and families move out when they can afford to. Large populations of Jewish, Japanese, Russians, Armenians, Yugoslav have all stayed in Boyle Heights, now 95% of the 100,000 inhabitants are Mexican.

And Last for now, the suburb has a strong sense of community, hardly found anywhere else in LA. Activities and use of space is super dynamic, houses are lots of times occupied by more than one family, structures are always evolving to conform to these situations.

And now to the subject of the blog, while looking for ways to design a community that begins to integrate production and work into everyday life and activities, these shoes harvest the power generated by your walking into energy, here they power a wireless device. The city's lights are powered by your beat.