Mobile Commons

Mobile Commons is a set of easy-to-deploy activity tools that create commons and publics anywhere, anytime. Working with Nick Bruni, Sai Achariyar and María Daniela Jiménez, I am co-designing and fabricating an iteration of Mobile Commons for the Echo Park Film Center (EPFC), a non-profit media arts organization that provides affordable community access to film and video resources to media-marginalized communities in, and outside of, Los Angeles. (Learn more about EPFC here.)

One approach EPFC uses to provide services and outreach beyond its Echo Park location is through their Filmmobile: an eco-friendly mobile cinema and film school the Center uses to better engage its audiences and participants by offering a flexible environment for more dynamic activities and other forms of public participation to emerge.

Mobile Commons will serve as a kit-of-parts designed to enhance and facilitate the existing performance, accessibility, and welcoming hospitality of the EPFC Filmmobile. Mobile Commons is specifically intended to strengthen the cinematic experience for children, particularly those who are coming from marginalized communities. The kit-of-parts is multipurpose as it lends itself to become individual and communal seats, blackboards, props, and an animation light table. Mobile Commons can be used in public parks, sidewalks, classrooms, and other spaces and serves as a kit-of-parts that enhances the EPFC’s mission of promoting social justice and community-building through equal access to film education and production, unlocking children’s creativity and promoting collective re-imaginings of a better world.


We are currently working on enhancing the design of Mobile Commons. It will feature a refined slot design to allow for quicker, more intuitive assembly, and thus broaden the flexibility of the kit-of-parts to ensure outreach and applicability for organizations and nonprofits across other disciplines of arts education. We aim to fabricate at least ten ​sets in order to test a pop-up classroom at full scale, expanding its potential for successful use and increasing the number of beneficiaries. Additionally, we will print copies of an illustrated Assembly Manual and design online and printed communication materials including a 3-minute video of the design to distribute the project message to potential new collaborators within and outside Los Angeles.

This project was initially developed as a prototype called Ánimo in Spring 2017 by Nerve V. Macaspac, Nick Bruni, Sai Achariyar, and María Daniela Jiménez as part of the Urban Humanities Initiative (UHI) at UCLA School of Architecture and Urban Design (AUD), with the support of the Mellon Foundation. Special thanks to Dr. Dana Cuff, Dr. Ben Leclair, Phil, Paolo Davanzo and Lisa Marr, Andrew Kim, and the Echo Park Film Center.








THE KODAMANIST: A Ghost Guide to Tokyo 2020 



Photo: Ben Leclair-Pacquet (2017)

In an increasingly globalising and urbanising world, novel approaches to the study and making of cities are urgently called for. The Ghost Guides to Tokyo 2020 is an international urban humanities experiment, involving students of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and Waseda University. Beyond just looking at the obvious impacts of the mega-event, the project exposes the latent, allusive, and more ghostly impacts of past, possible, and future Olympics.

The result is a collection of independent urban guides that invites the pre- and post-Olympic visitor to walk the city, challenge established preconceptions, and engage in a critical reflection on the multiple and often hidden ways the Olympics have been transforming spaces and social practices in Tokyo.

Working in collaboration with several graduate students from UCLA and Waseda University, I participated in the research and design of “The Kodamanist”, highlighting the consequences of Tokyo 2020 to the city’s “homeless” communities.