In partnership with the 1882 Foundation and in collaboration with the D.C. Humanities Truck, we designed, tested, and evaluated Dear Chinatown, DC, a year-long design research initiative that explored the mechanics of meaningful public engagement with the neighborhood's longtime community. Participatory action research (PAR) and research as design (RtD) methodologies were used to design, test, and evaluate an alternative public engagement model to better inform place-keeping ideas and initiatives in Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown. The key findings and outcomes of the project revealed the value of the formation of new networks and collaborators and intergenerational convening, as well as improvements and obstacles in accessibility, and data quality. Planning for future phases of Dear Chinatown continues with the 1882 Foundation, through the collection of social histories of neighborhood businesses and faith-based institutions, and the design of a digital advocacy platform to map the data and stories collected to-date.
Where: Washington, D.C.
Project Team: Jenn Low
Partners: 1882 Foundation, D.C. Humanities Truck, Anacostia Community Museum, and MDes in Integrative Design at the Stamps School of Art and Design
Timeline: August 2019- August 2020