Watts Community Studio


Watts Community Studio: Wilmington Ave Placemaking

How can a design re-envision the role of environmental beautification to create a holistic economic corridor in Watts?

The Watts Community Studio is a economic development and planning project supported by the LA City Council District 15 Office of Joe Buscaino that seeks to inform policy, based on the feedback from business owners and residents of Watts. The Watts Community Studio started Summer 2013, engaging Watt’s youth and collecting approximately 750 surveys from the neighborhood to better understand the challenges Watt’s small businesses face.

But what started as a participatory research project evolved to increase collaboration and organization between small businesses, community-based organizations and faith-based organizations to further support community development.

Based on the Watts Community Studio findings and report, La-Más proposed to re-envision Wilmington Ave from 110 St. to 113 St. as a commercial corridor. Buscaino’s office funded the proposal to assist small business owners and improve the built environment thru the creation of a cohesive corridor identity. LA-Más designed signage, paint facades and decorative lighting.

In partnership with Woodbury University, La-Más worked to design furniture and better the streetscape.

Summer youths from Yo! Watts were hired.

LA Trade Tech students spent two weeks painting the signage for the businesses.