chinatown 2020





Chinatown 2020 is an activity to help Greater Chinatown in NYC to be more resilient towards the severe climate change such as Hurricane Sandy. This project is cooperated with Eduardo Palma, Lillian Ling, Jieun Lee and Karl Davies. 

This project is cooperated with Eduardo Palma, Lillian Ling, Jieun Lee and
Karl Davies. 


We conducted interviews with people in order to collect their Sandy experience. Focus was placed on problems they had getting information before the hurricane hit and difficulties they faced afterwards. Interviewees include residences and merchants who suffered Hurricane Sandy.


Joining the community- During interviews we realized there were not many events the community gathered around. However, we did notice card playing games were really popular between neighbors in the area. Based on that particular observation we decided to carry out an intervention in Columbus Park in Chinatown, in which we invited people to write down their experiences, fears and hopes related to Hurricane Sandy. This proved to be a great way of getting useful feedback from them as we got information we didn't get through the interviews. This intervention took place one year after Sandy hit.


We designed a set of cards for people in Chinatown to play with. Each suit holds an specific category. Spades have questions about survival tips during and after catastrophes; the answers can be found in Diamond cards, so they can play matching games and learn useful information in case another event takes place. Clovers raise questions around which neighbors can socialize; the goal is for them to be aware of other members of their communities and how to organize themselves as a group.Hearts present data and statistics on previous resilience efforts.



We tested our card game in Chinatown with real users. As we started playing, people started joining the game and gathering around the table. They played their own games with them and started meaningful conversations between them around the questions in the cards. A more detailed explanation of the outcome of this prototype can be found in the slideshow below.

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A formal presentation of the project took place in GradComD's Gallery at Pratt Institute. People were invited to sit down and play with the cards to know this project better.