1. From… to…



My son, Rui, on a play date in Zoom (2020)


Photo: Matthew LeJune


A snapshot from the first day of the studio, where students explored different areas of San José in small groups. One team was delighted to discover a wall around the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design that doubled as public seating to the neighborhood. (Left to right: Ana Acevedo, Diana Pang, and Majo Tamayo; Photo: Sammy Creeger)


Understanding the lived experiences of communities is central to Openbox’s process. Community research in D.C. ranged from the experience of erasure in gentrifying neighborhoods to the desire to ground action and activism in the everyday.


Left: Mask for a “Ko-omote” character in Noh theater. My son and I started researching and making traditional Japanese masks. We recommend this TV documentary as good places to start: Begin Japanology’s episode on masks.


Wooden spoons and metal bottles ready for collective clanging at 7pm to celebrate frontline workers (Image: New York City, 2020).


Home and hopeful.
  1. I take a deep breath: I want to give this breath to everyone running out of air.
  2. I look out at other apartment windows: I see you, I love you, we’re here together, we’re not alone.
  3. I sift through my sock drawer: I can’t believe I would be annoyed when…


Although most of us are home and apart, we can still fill our days with projects to connect and help our world.

Adriana Valdez Young

Urbanist, mixed methods researcher, mother, faculty at SVA and Parsons School of Design

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