Santa Monica College

Santa Monica College | Altered District: Designing architectural prototypes to create a healthy and sustainable work environment. | Goal 2: Buildings and infrastructure that support human health and resilience. | Goal 4: A prosperous LA County that provides opportunities for all residents and businesses and supports the transition to a green economy.

Workplace Design

Altered District focuses on the environmental hazards and sustainable future of the Garment District in Downtown Los Angeles, where more than 45,000 Latino and Asian immigrants work. For decades, these garment workers have been fighting for better working conditions, such as ventilation and access to daylight, and now face the threat of gentrification with the Planning Department’s newly approved Zoning Plan. This project envisions innovative design and engineering solutions for environmentally related problems, preserving the Garment District as a manufacturing hub while making the district more livable, accessible, equitable and ecologically responsible. From an analysis of existing buildings, the team will propose architectural intervention strategies. In partnership with the Garment Workers Center, the project also envisions a cooperatively owned business model where garment workers assume greater control in the creation of a healthy, sustainable working environment.

Team: David Gonzalez Rojas, Design Studio Professor; Anastasia Pascali-Fortes; Artemisa Gjergo; Avalon Tipton; Camila Horen; Hyun Chan Jung; Jerica Covell; Jonathan Zahab; Karen Pino Lopez; Leonel Banda Moreno; Leslie Mendoza; Nestor Pena Gonzalez; Stephanie Cardenas; Sustainability Design Consultant: Olga Oreshkina

Community partners: Nayantara Banerjee, Organizer at the Garment Workers Center

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