Inventing Liveable Futures (still)





Creative Commons Licence



Contributed date

March 1, 2020 - 11:13am

Critical Commentary

This is an experimental visualization of text and image.

This visualization is 1 of 2 experimental visualizations that try to capture a debate-in-progress between developers and community activists about the future of 3200 Foothill Blvd, Pasadena. 

The original text comes from the developer's publically-distributed description of their project. I add to the text by coloring language that points to imagined past, present, and futures. These color blocks are then used to create  and incorporate a vocabulary inventory. 

I am interested in how pasts and futures are invented in stories and arguments, to/for others. For example, the contention in this image that the original use of this place was a naval testing facility signals when time begins in the developers imaginary. They cannot ignore its military past, but willfully ignore the nuanced and textured histories embedded in this inhabited place in Southern California.

The text presents an imagined future as a living community organism—heart, connected, vital, filter. The past is presented as deadened—isolated, wall-off, commemorative. No words are available in this conjured site for a toxic history or toxic future.

This visualization is part of the Visualizing Toxic Places Design Project 2020  and Place as Palimpsest photo essay.

Cite as

Anonymous, "Inventing Liveable Futures (still)", contributed by Nadine Tanio, Center for Ethnography, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 5 March 2020, accessed 24 February 2024.