Shared_Studios is a multidisciplinary art, design and technology collective focused on carving wormholes across the world. Since launching in 2014, Portals have expanded to more than a dozen countries and have connected more than 35,000 people around the world in intimate, one-on-one dialogues. Prior Portals participants include Barack Obama, Ban Ki-moon, Haider al-Abadi, John Kerry, Samantha Power, Sergey Brin, Fareed Zakaria, Ewan McGregor and more. Sites include Herat, Kigali, Berlin, San Francisco, an IDP camp in Iraq and more. Global media has covered Portals including the New York Times, The Washington Post, ABC, PBS, FOX, and many more.
Portals use immersive audiovisual technology (housed within big gold shipping containers) to connect people in distant places as if they were in the same room. The LA_Portal primarily facilitates conversations about police violence as part of a research project through Yale University. The Criminal Justice Dialogues make up a growing collection of conversations between persons in highly policed communities. The goal of this project is to amplify the voices of individuals and communities directly affected by police violence—and whose perspectives are too often missing from conversations on this critical issue.
Big City Forum (2016 - 2017)
Big City Forum (BCF), founded in 2008 by Los Angeles-based artist, educator, and activist Leonardo Bravo, is an independent, interdisciplinary project that explores the intersection between design-based creative disciplines within the context of public space, the built environment, and social change.
BCF is committed to exploring the forms of social space that emerge from the nexus of community-based initiatives, forms of urban activation, and public engagement. It seeks to rethink the spaces of everyday life: how people use them, and how they should be designed in order to activate an idea of the commons. BCF provides platforms for forward-thinking creative projects. It functions as an incubator of ideas that actualizes agendas and frames complex social issues.
Creativity and the arts are powerful tools for civic transformation. They usher new forms through which dominant narratives can be renegotiated and bypassed. BCF strives to make creativity visible, become a conduit for information and knowledge, and empower citizens. Through dialogue and collaborative inquiry at the intersection of various creative disciplines, its goal has always been to sidestep scholarly discourse and directly enact social change that permeates the space of the everyday.