The project expands the already-established Mobile Design Box Project that revitalizes empty storefronts in underserved neighborhoods of Milwaukee through popup art-galleries. The current project explores 1) how to engage local communities to co-create such spaces, and 2) how to craft a mobile furniture system that can be quickly erected to activate vacant storefronts. The uniqueness of this project is the flexibility of a mobile retrofit-system of furniture that can be moved from one location to another. With community input, this designed furniture will respond to diverse programming needs such as farmer's markets, art galleries, maker spaces, co-work sites, and community centers. By including community voices in the design process — through interviews, surveys and workshops, we hope to address local needs, aspirations, and knowledge.
The project intends to help the student form a research agenda on spatial criminology based on literature review and analysis on empirical crime data in Chicago. Specifically, it focuses on the association between crime and racial segregation in Chicago and across different geographic scales. This project contributes the spatial perspectives to their association by taking account of the spatial non-stationarity or heterogeneity of their association across the city of Chicago. Crime incident data will be obtained from Chicago city data portal, and social demographic data from Census Bureau. The effect of spatial scale on the relation between crime and segregation will be examined by calculating crime rate and segregation indices at block group, tract, and Chicago community levels. Their association will be examined by spatial regression and econometric models that also account for other social economic covariates as control variables. Crime data will be clustered based on their category and intensity. Segregation measures will be calculated on areas where crime clusters. Conversely, segregation will be clustered to examine the crimes in the segregated areas. We expect better understanding of how crime and racial segregation associate in space and across spatial scales.
Part of an ongoing archival studies initiative, this year's project centers on preserving and activating historical film archives in the digital sphere. Since 2016, I have been working with UWM students to create a film studies archive on campus. This archive now contains over 250 films, countless slides, media journals, books, and posters, and a menagerie of analogue and digital audio-visual equipment. It has been evolving in many exciting ways, giving students a unique opportunity to learn about archival theories and methods, while gaining hands-on practice in preservation and programming. This past year, through the resourcefulness of our research fellows and our partnership with University Relations, we have begun reorganizing the archive in a new space that will ensure its long-term expansion. With the recent acquisition of a digital scanner, we now have amplified the opportunities for student professionalization in the digital environment. We are very excited about our pilot project, “Archives for Social Change.” In the spirit of current events, and UWM’s Anti-Racist Campus Initiative, and through several local and international digital symposia and workshops, students will work on archiving and activating historical film and media archives for social change.