Bianca Wong Milano

Otis College of Art & Design

Title of Project: campGROUND(s)

Studio Instructor: It Takes a Village

An architecturally and spiritually transformative project that celebrates the beauty of LA’s underserved community. Crenshaw Yoga & Dance encourages community healing through physical, mental and spiritual engagements while the teahouse, Sip & Sum promotes human connection and culture preservation through art and creativity. 

Pocket Garden Section Perspective

STORY 

In 1970, African Americans occupied 80% of South Los Angeles with 24 out of 28 neighborhoods. By 2010, the majority dropped from 24 to 6. Through the decades, the Black community continues to lose ground in areas once considered to be their strongholds while the culture gradually gets diluted and eventually erased. Though it has always been an uphill battle for Black Angelenos, they continue to break barriers and even built a strong foundation towards the city’s success. On that note, we must celebrate the strengths and struggles it took for them to create this lasting influence that now embodies most of LA’s culture.

Pocket Garden with Art _ Native Plants

PROMPT 

For this project, my school, Otis College of Art & Design collaborated with a local initiative, Destination Crenshaw and a local yoga studio, Crenshaw Yoga and Dance. My class and I were tasked with redesigning (1) a yoga studio and (2) a vacant lot on Crenshaw Blvd. We had the opportunity to work with the owner, Ms. Young to further develop it based on her needs and desires.

“Destination Crenshaw is a transformative infrastructure project that has goals to boost the community by the end of 2022 through economic development, job creation, and environmental healing, while elevating Black art and culture. A 1.3-mile stretch of Crenshaw Blvd will be transformed from an area that has long deserved economic investment and strategic urban planning, into a thriving commercial corridor linked by architecturally stunning community spaces and pocket parks, hundreds of newly planted trees, and over 100 commissioned works of art.” -from Destination Crenshaw webpage

Dance Studio

VISION 

My vision for this project is to create a destination that celebrates the beauty of LA’s underserved community through the encouragement of community healing and culture preservation through art and creativity.

A Courtyard As A Connection Between Multiple Interet Points

CONCEPT
Yoga Studio
In yoga philosophy, the term “Samsara” means the continuous cycle of rebirth. It’s a state where one flows through the many states of life to battle everyday struggles and pain. This concept is a reminder that through enough practice, the ebb and flows of life can be overcome.

For the existing studio, I am creating an intimate yet communal space that will fulfill the physical, mental and spiritual needs of the Crenshaw community. I will do so by designing an inviting façade, increasing its existing circulation while creating multiple interest points throughout the space to enhance user experience.

A Yoga Studio with a View and Rotating Louvres to Control Light

Teahouse (Previously a vacant lot)
I am converting the empty lot next door into a teahouse that will serve its purpose as a reimagined social gathering space. As a yoga enthusiast myself, I find that sipping on a hot cup of tea is the best way to end a gentle yoga practice. More than that, in ancient Japanese philosophy, the term “wabi” means the value of simplicity. It’s a state of stillness and insight that comes from the acceptance of reality. This concept allows us to realize that whatever the situation, there is beauty to be found.

The teahouse will encourage human connection and creativity through the simple art of drinking tea. The teahouse will also be a space to host workshops from sound baths and pottery to anything that engages the senses.