Category Archives: Interpretive Plan

Implementation plan: The Gentrification and Rental Rights

          This Interpretative plan demonstrates the theme of gentrification and rental rights through the hologram system on the street along the I-Hotel. The most recent gentrification happened during the urban renewal planning and redevelopment movement of the mid 1960s, when the I-hotel was targeted for demolition. Now, the spread of urban renewal plan in San Francisco’s Financial District turned to the I-Hotel continues a long chain of displacement for residents of low-cost residential housing.

            This project, “I-Hotelogram,” will be effective to put public pressure on a landlord who is doing an Ellis Act eviction. According to San Francisco Tenants Union, under the Ellis Act, landlords may evict all tenants in a building in order to take the building off the rental market by the unconditional right. Residents in San Francisco are faced with Ellis Act nowadays along the same line with residents in I-hotel were before. Unless the law requires the landlord to socially redeem themselves, the mass media or neighbors can make arguments to support the tenant’s side. We can set up visual, audio and movement senses through this hologram.


Short-term plan (5 years):



Sample Screenshots of the application “I-hotelogram”

          I-Hotelogram, which is setting up the hologram of interviews from people who got evicted by landlords, state law, and governments could engage residents in the I-hotel including residents in San Francisco and California. It would be installed of the once sprawling 10-block Manilatown and the effects urban renewal had that led to its demise. The short term action plan of the I-Hotellogram could encourage tourists to come to see special hologram. It could arouse tourists and visitors attention about the dangers of eviction fights related to living. In addition, the epidemic of evictions is connected to activism because it is one of the actions made by activists. Audiences could remember the lessons of elders in I-Hotel and sympathize with the expelled tenants for a while because of this audio, visual and hearing senses.


Long term-plan (25 years):


     To contribute the Interpretive project to sustainability, we have to cooperate with smartphone application in order to increase accessibility. Since this interpretive project with hologram on the street, it might be hard to access if there are many people on the street or be crowded by other noises. Moreover, it is impossible to give an information to people who want to help I-hotel and San Francisco eviction but who are far away. Therefore, through smartphone application called “I-Hotelogram,” visitors as well as residents and landlords can access to the hologram and interviews about evictions. When they access to the hologram, they can feel that they are accessing to people who were evicted and how much the state law is harsh for them. Also in the long term, this project could empower and authorize immigrants, since when immigrants immigrated, they need a place to leave. For Filipinos, I-Hotel is the place of them.



Plaque and Mural Project

Davis House’s provision of student housing introduces unique challenges to its preservation. In a two-step approach, this project intends to take into account both the contribution of the inhabitants, as well as attempting to affix more permanent documentation in a way that will survive the constant turnover of student life. Step one of this project is a commemorative plaque mounted on the front of Davis house, in a space that is both visible and accessible. The plaque will give a brief history of the house detailing its construction and various histories. By affixing a plaque to the house, house members will have an accessible point of documented memory from which to draw, that will also be available to visitors and outsiders as well, opening the house to the public.

The second part of this project would be the creation of a living mural, documenting the history of the house while leaving stylized blank spaces for residents to create and add their own content to the mural. This mural would encourage the house’s history to evolve as the house grows and continues to exist.

The key to the success of this project lies in the blended approach of “official” and interpretive history practices that incorporate both elements of the institutional as well as the cultural values of the cooperative. We hope to retain the cultural values of the people to whom this heritage site belongs, while also encouraging longevity, creativity, and preservation.

Walking Tour

1923 block book showing house and surrounding area

As much as Davis House is the focus of our heritage projects, it doesn’t exist as an island. Rather, its history closely mirrors that of the surrounding neighborhood, and so any exploration of the site’s history is incomplete without looking at this house as part of a larger community.

It is with this in mind that we propose a neighborhood walking tour that incorporates audio and visual augmented reality technologies to bring history to the ears and fingertips of visitors. Much like the DeTour programs available in other parts of the Bay Area, this tour involves a cell phone app that instructs the visitor on where to go, and what to see. Narration guides the visitor along a predetermined path, with explanations of local history along the way.

Undated color postcard of International House and surrounding neighborhood

Augmenting all of this are aural and visual cues that help to more fully evoke the past and present of this area. In the century since Davis House was first built, this hillside has gone from quiet canyonland to bustling enclave of student life. What did it sound like 100 years ago? What might it have sounded like to walk past frat houses on game day in the 1920s?

This immersion also helps visitors more fully explore questions of racial exclusion, gender discrimination, community evolution, and the notion of progress over time. How did International House, at the bottom of the hill, shake up what had been an all-white neighborhood? How did sororities serve the growing female student body at the University of California? How might they have come to represent something outmoded? And when the co-op system radically altered the face of the neighborhood, was it all forward progress, or did some of these same questions still remain?

The goal of this walking tour is not to answer these questions in full, but to leave visitors with a critical understanding of the complexities of student life. This speaks not only to Berkeley’s past, but to the future of student life everywhere.

Filipino Migration and Social Mobility

The proposed interpretive project is an audio/video installation to be located along the west wall of the Manilatown Heritage Foundation Community center. Currently, on this wall there are mounted architectural remains from the original I-Hotel building in addition to framed photographs and a plaque that has the names of former I-Hotel residents. The audience for this installation will be people who visit the Manilatown Heritage Foundation Community Center. As such, people visit the center for different purposes either to volunteer, curate materials, participate in ongoing events, facilitate community meetings, and other activities that involve formal and informal meetings. This audio/video installation will give primacy to the human sense of vision and the human sense of hearing to convey information. Visuals will be displayed through an overhead projector and projected onto the wall. Audio will be played back through mountains speakers in the rafters overhead.
Figure — Tony Robles points describing the mounted installation in the Manilatown Heritage Foundation Center


Tony Robles describing the International Hotel brick installation inside the Manilatown Center.

The project is titled “Filipino Immigration and Social Mobility in the San Francisco Bay Area and the United States of America” and it is an audio/visual installation. This type of installation is commonly used in museum and interpretive center settings. Generally, the installation consists of a screen, an overhead visual projector, audio speakers and a playback device. The visual projector and the audio speakers are linked to a playback device–a DVD player or computer–and the digital file from the playback device is rendered visually to the screen and kinetically to the speakers.

The proposed playback time is 15-30 minutes and will consists of a synthesized story of Filipino immigration to North America, history of I-Hotel in San Francisco, interviews with former residents, interviews with the children of former residents, and maps that show the concentrations of Filipino people in the Bay Area and in the United States. This synthesized story will pool resources available to staff at the Manilatown Heritage Foundation Community Center and will develop new resources through the production of visuals and interviews. First step in the development of this installation is an inventory of materials that have information about immigration and social mobility in the archives and an inventory of the skills and training available at hand from staff members and volunteers who work at Manilatown Heritage Foundation Community Center. This step identifies the equipment, materials and skills and training needed to complete the project. Furthermore, this step helps to develop a timetable for the completion of the project. Thereafter the project is split into phases. Phase one consists of digitization of archival materials (if needed) and procurement of audio/visual equipment and construction of installation. Phase two consists of research, design and rendering of infographics/maps that show how the Filipino population has changed in socioeconomic and residential status since the inception of I-Hotel. Phase three consists of interviews with former residents and their descendents. And Phase four consists of production of the proposed synthesized story–storyboarding, drafting, critiquing, and approval from the Manilatown Heritage Foundation board of directors.


A mockup of Manilatown Center brick installation. Images will be projected on bricks.

Short Term (5 years):
This project contributes to the sustainability of not only the Manilatown Heritage Foundation Community Center, but also the sustainability of Filipino heritage in San Francisco. This proposal has to potential to pool resources that are available–archival materials held in trust by the Manilatown Heritage Foundation–with new equipment and skills to facilitate the creation of this installation. As such, it helps train staff and make materials accessible to visitors which overlaps with the themes of social justice activism, community organization and labor rights. The message conveyed through this installation presences Filipino history within San Francisco thus contributing to the sustainably of Filipino heritage more generally in the Bay Area.

Long-Term (25 years):
The changing demographics of the San Francisco Bay Area are changing rapidly. The International Hotel Manilatown Center is one of a handful of places that showcase social justice and equity within the rapidly gentrifying San Francisco urban landscape. Over the long-term then, the skills and training gathered and distributed with this installation works towards fashioning a longer vision for the Manilatown Heritage Foundation. The skills and training offered through the creation of the installation in terms of content and performance offer the chance to create new workflows for other aspects of the foundation. To continue the longevity of the Manilatown Heritage Foundation, this installation acts as an incubator of skills and training that work from within to continue the sustainability of International Hotel.

Interpretive Plan, Official Manilatown App

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 5.48.57 PMImplementation (Action Plan)

Theme: Community Organization and Outreach

This Interpretive plan incorporates the Team project theme of community organization and outreach via a mobile app. This format was chosen primarily to serve as a of encouraging the younger generation to be informed, involved, and further interested in the history behind the International Hotel and the Manilatown heritage Foundation with easy accessibility.
-The app also includes a feature that allows users to directly engage with displays by accessing audio testimonies and narratives to photographs by location based technology.
-The platform paves a pathway for the exchange of information that was not possible without the collective effort of the users of the app.
-The application permits visitors the chance to connect with other visitors as they post and share their stories thereby creating an online community that is specific to the International Hotel. -The app contributes to the International Hotel’s efforts to engage with the community in creative ways while emphasizing the importance of community. The Manilatown Heritage Center is the physical reminder of the Filipino-American community created by and for the community. The Manilatown Heritage Foundation app is an online extension of the continuous effort to preserve and promote the presence of the community for the community.

Short-term plan (5 years):
The short-term implementation plan of the Official Manilatown Heritage Foundation app involves broadening the user base of the app. The plan is to initially target tech savvy groups such as high school and college students in order to develop their interest in the International-Hotel and its tumulus past with renter’s rights. The app also caters to those individuals who are unable to physically visit the location through its gallery feature, which allows access to the archive database of countless photographs and other media. Through this plan the Manilatown Heritage Foundation can hope to see a new wave of visitors, online and offline, who are interested in the further preservation and conservation of the I-Hotel.

Long term-plan (25 years):
The long-term implementation plan of the Official Manilatown Heritage App is to eventually turn a portion of the users of the application into future stewards of I-Hotel. Due to the changing demographic of San Francisco, I-Hotel is faced with the issue of catering to a community that is no longer largely present in that location. The Official Manilatown app aims to start a movement to bring people back to the battleground of renter’s rights and highlight the significant role the I-Hotel played in them. The reestablishment of the Manilatown community requires a new generation of people who are willing to rally around the I-Hotel and further promote its presence. Moreover, the app’s long-term goal is to bring the I-Hotel to the attention of additional visitors and potential stakeholders who otherwise would have not have access to information of and provided by the International hotel.

Berkeley Beats Poetry: Audio Tour App – Interpretive Plan

We envision an iPhone (and/or Android) application that presents an audio tour encompassing the three main Beat Poetry heritage sites in Berkeley: Allen Ginsberg’s House, Sconehenge Café, and Trader Joe’s. The three sites, all within three miles of each other, would be incorporated into one two-hour walking tour, in which a visitor would listen to an audio narration while walking to each of the sites. The app would be modeled after the layout and function of the app “DeTour” (shown here), which provides pictures at each location, a GPS component to guide visitors, and an audio narration.

The app would first navigate tourists to Allen Ginsberg’s Berkeley residence (1624 Milvia Street), which is now an apartment complex, and begin with a reading of Ginsberg’s “A Strange New Cottage In Berkeley.” The visitor’s iPhone would display pictures of Ginsberg’s house. The applications’ navigation and narration would then direct visitors to the Trader Joe’s. During this walk from Milvia Street to University Avenue, the narration would provide a short biography of Allen Ginsberg and briefly explain the Berkeley Beat Generation. This explanation would touch on many important themes pertaining to the Berkeley Beat Movement – activism, free speech, anti-censorship, and personal expression. There would be audio clips from Ginsberg, such as one of him on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” in 1994 (this audio clip can be heard here), in which Ginsberg reflects on his role in the Beat Generation and fighting censorship.

When the visitor arrives at Trader Joe’s the narration would play a recording of Ginsberg reading his poem “A Supermarket in California” (this audio clip can be heard here), and visitors would be invited to compare the sights and sounds of the supermarket to the description in Ginsberg’s poem. The phone would provide pictures of the original U-Save Market, which stood in the place of Trader Joe’s during Ginsberg’s time in Berkeley.

Next, the narration would lead visitors to Sconehenge Café, and explain that this was the site of Ginsberg’s first recorded reading of “Howl.” On the walk to the café, there would be a discussion about the role of performance in beat poetry. The narration would introduce the slam poetry showcases that the Cafe hosts and invite users to attend or perform at the showcase. There would be an audio clip of Ron Loewinsohn, a professor of American Literature at UC Berkeley, providing an analysis of the literature of the Beat Generation (this audio clip can be heard here). Upon arriving at the Café, the app would discuss the lasting impacts of the Berkeley Beat Generation on American culture and poetry. The audio tour would close with a recording of Ginsberg reading “Howl.”

It is our hope that the tour would provide an interesting juxtaposition between the current state of the heritage sites and these same locations in the 1950’s . We expect that this audio-based tour would be used long-term, as there are few plans for the sites to change aesthetic or location. This app would attract tourists, local visitors, and community members who wish to learn more about the Berkeley Beat Movement through this audio tour.

Read about our Crowd Sourcing App


Berkeley Beats Poetry: Crowd Sourcing App – Interpretive Plan

This interpretive project is an iPhone/Android web-based application that allows visitors to collect text, audio, and pictures and post them to the shared forum. Conceptually it is a crowd-sourced model for collecting text, audio, and images generated by users at the physical locations. The content is user-moderated and will be accessible via application or web. An important aspect of this interpretive project is the multiple media incorporated into the app; ideally, being at a certain location would trigger the app to prompt the user to view previous users’ posts. Signage and push-notifications will prompt the user to contribute to the web-forum through picture or video capture, text posts, or audio recordings.

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An example of the potential layout of this app.

The themes of our project include living history, expression and performance, and free speech and anti-censorship movements; the concept of this app as a public forum for expression and digital performance (through video, photos, audio, and text) allows people to share their experiences in a less traditional manner across time. The ability of users to scroll through time on the app to view the content provided for their location allows them to occupy multiple times in history. The app also allows users to view historic photos, videos, audio clips, and text specific to the location, as well as add their own photos, etc., to the app’s “archive”. In addition to this, the app allows anyone with a smart phone or web access to view, contribute, and provide feedback on the content available. One of the primary audiences is teenagers and young adults, who nearly all own or have access to a smart phone or the web and generally enjoy using social media and crowd sourcing apps. However, due to the nature of the app’s attention to expression and performance, the content and contribution aspects are accessible and inviting to people of all ages. Stakeholders, including poets, writers, local artists, and aspiring artists will all find content of interest to them, in addition to having the ability to contribute their own thoughts and artistic material.

This interpretive project encourages users to document real-life performances, which engage all of their senses and synthesize these into user-friendly content. One of the main motivators of the project is cultivating multisensorial engagement with a place and its history. The digital nature of this archive-database makes it sustainable for long-term engagement between stakeholders and visitors. However, digital apps require consistent and long-term updating, de-bugging, and maintenance, which requires funding or volunteer dedication. The Estate of Allen Ginsberg is well prepared and able to maintain an app with these kinds of requirements.

Read about our Slam Poetry Showcase

Berkeley Beats Poetry: Slam Poetry Showcase – Interpretive Plan

For this interpretive project, our group thought it would be interesting to highlight the Beat History of Berkeley through a series of monthly (or semi-monthly, if the turnout is high and response is positive) poetry slam/creativity open-mic night showcases.  This would initially take place at a single heritage location— the California College of the Arts, and then perhaps expand to set up another showcase at the Sconehenge Café.  The poetry slam would be free of charge, although it could be possible to accept donations that could then be donated to a local school or organization supporting a good cause.  The initial and focal intention is for this to be a poetry slam, but as a showcase as well, all forms of creative stage performance will of course be accepted.  Participants, the performers, may also sing or play an instrument, do a stand-up comedy routine, perform a short skit or dance routine, etc.  Local artists can also have the opportunity to have their art work (sculpture, painting, photography, etc.) put on display at the intended location of the showcase.  Not only would people be able to learn about their own city’s local history, but this also creates an opportunity for them to share their own narratives with each other.

With the introduction of this poetry slam showcase, it could be a way to bring in a good source of people—local people to San Francisco and the surrounding areas, college, primary and high school students, and those within the arts community.  This would be good publicity for the California College of the Arts and for the local area, and be a good way to get more people interested in their community and its history.  If these poetry slams were to start occurring at the Stonehenge Café, it would also mean an influx of business (foot traffic and more people attending for the event meaning more customers), for the owners as well.

The concept of performance has the power to have a very moving and even spiritual effect on a person, whether they’re a witness to the performance or the performer themselves.  Audience members (as well as the performers) will be able to evoke the past through experiencing (or being the one who incites the experience upon others) auditory and visual stimulation that can create a sense of comfort, discomfort, privacy, suppression or overload of the senses and emotions, and healing and meditation.

It would also be possible, to help better situate these open mic nights and to keep their contextualization, to have a theme for each night of the showcase that relates to something the Berkeley Beat poets stood for.  The performers would be able to take these themed nights and incorporate their own emotions, memories, personal backgrounds, thoughts, and opinions and have a safe and supportive environment to express themselves.  Due to the unique human-to-human interface of this interpretive project, in a way unlike any other, this project has the potential to be a valuable experience and exchange of teaching and learning for everyone.

Read about our Installation of Text into the Sites

Interpretive Plan: Albany Bulb Exchange Game

This proposed interpretive project aims at getting visitors engaged by sharing stories and connecting people through the landscape and exchange of meaningful objects. The game would be similar to geocaching, where visitors to the Albany Bulb use smart phones or GPS enabled devices to find hidden caches of items. Normally, people who geocache take an item from the geocache and replace it with a different item. The Albany Bulb exchange game would also require visitors to complete certain tasks or share stories as part of an app in order to access the items inside the geocache. Although various interpretive projects involving stories already exist at the Bulb, this project would build upon these plans because it would require participants to experience the place and formulate alternate narratives in addition to contributing stories.

Ocean and Art

Ocean and Art by Karlene Shippelhoute

Each box would be locked with a code, and the participant of the geocaching game would need to complete a task on an app in order to receive the code to open the cache. The stories and responses from other visitors would be viewable on the website, and participants in the game can contribute to any or all of the deposits. Participants would be informed of liability concerns pertinent to the Albany Bulb before they are permitted to participate.

The game would be able to be played individually or as a group, provided at least one person has a GPS-enabled device. The targeted audience includes both regular visitors and people who are new to the Albany Bulb. Here are some examples of tasks which a participant might be asked to complete:

  • Cache 1: Share a favorite memory of the Albany Bulb and post it to the website.
  • Cache 2: Post a picture of their favorite tree or plant at the Albany Bulb.
  • Cache 3: Describe how the Albany Bulb smells.
  • Cache 4: Share a story about the object they plan to deposit in the cache, and why it is meaningful and related to the Albany Bulb.
  • Cache 5: Participants given a story about the history of the Albany Bulb so far, and asked to write an alternate ending.
  • Cache 6: Participants given a description of the Albany Bulb and asked to write an alternate beginning or history of the place.
  • Cache 7: Add on to a story contributed by the last visitor.

This interpretive project plan incorporates multiple project themes: landscape, alternative narratives, nature versus human dichotomy, art, communities. The game would contribute towards sustainability because it would facilitate discussion about the past and future of the site in light of the relationship between humans, the environment and waste disposal.

Berkeley Beats Poetry: Installation of Text into Sites – Interpretive Plan

We hope to physically incorporate Ginsberg’s poems at the sites to showcase their cultural and historical value. This means informing the public about the wider Beat Movement by including additional text about how the movement affected free speech, the gay rights movement, activism, and censorship. Instructions on how to download the audio tour, the crowd sourcing app, and information about the poetry showcase will also be included to bring our interpretive projects together.   This will evoke the senses of sight and touch for tourists and belonging for locals.


An example of what the monument in front of the Milvia Street apartment complex could look like.

Specifically, the plan for Ginsberg’s home is to place a historical marker where the cottage used to be on Milvia Street. The base would be shaped like an open book with Ginsberg’s poem “A Strange New Cottage in Berkeley”, the information mentioned earlier, and point out the John Greenleaf Whittier Elementary School poetry garden across the street inside of it. This would stress the themes of local history, beat poetry, and the legacy of Ginsberg.

For the Greyhound Station, we hope to have a permanent poetry exhibit occupy the blank walls near the entrance of the college. His poem “In the Baggage Room at Greyhound” would be placed in the center along with a portrait of himself and the background information. Poems created by the surrounding community and the students would be displayed as well which would generate a sense of community, belonging, and accentuate the themes of poetry, Allen Ginsberg, and physical changes to the landscape.


An example of the physical installation of text that could go on the Sconehenge tables.

The project at the old Town Hall Theater will be challenging since there are plans to turn it into a Honda showroom. But, if we can get the building classified as a historic structure, it’s possible to stop the construction. So, we believe the best course of action is to implement our interpretive project. This includes putting the text of Ginsberg’s “Howl” on the café tables along with signs that explain the background information. This would emphasize the themes of beat poetry, performance poetry, Ginsberg’s legacy, physical changes to the landscape, and local history.

At the U-Save Market, we hope to invite people to walk down the actual “Supermarket in California” and to experience the sounds Ginsberg describes in his poem. We could do this by writing the poem and the background information on the front windows which would highlight the themes of Ginsberg’s legacy; beat poetry, local history, and physical changes to the landscape.

Although these proposed changes would physically modify the sites, they have already been heavily altered. Because of this, our proposed changes will not damage any tangible heritage. They are also sustainable and won’t harm the environment since they are small permanent additions. Instead, they will bring context to Ginsberg’s poems, show the importance of the history at these locations, and sustain the cultural heritage at these sites. All stakeholders will also benefit from these changes since business owners will see more customers and everyone will be able to learn about Beat history.

Read about our Short Term Implementation