Architecture and Environmental Design: Serving Community with Open Educational Resource

submission by olivamarcela

About Your Organization

Organization name(s):

Los Angeles Trade Technical College Architecture and Environmental Design Program

Organization website:

Organization Twitter handle:


Organization Facebook page:


Organization Instagram:


Describe your organization (check only one):

Nonprofit organization

For-profit organization



Please describe yourself (check only one):

Solo actor (just us on this project!)

Proposed collaboration (we want to work with partners!)

Collaboration (partners are signed up and ready to hit the ground running!)

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


Provides state approved Architecture and Environmental Design, job placement, visualization and design/mapping services.

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.


Paid internship program: students support students on ENCOUNTER Projects and products, maintains Student Store, virtualize LA neighborhoods.

Please write a sample tweet to describe your submission.


Need a drawing, design, model, virtualization or help with your idea or product for the environment? Join our ENCOUNTER NETWORK

Does your project impact Los Angeles County? Check only one.

Yes (benefits all of LA County)

Yes (benefits a region of LA County)

Yes (benefits a population of LA County)


Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit? Check all that apply.

Central LA

East LA

South LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South Bay



If other, please specify.:


What is your idea/project in more detail?


Using synergetic thinking: 1)To serve communities, neighborhood councils, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, businesses, universities, individuals and others with design, virtualization and mapping services. 2)To help design furniture, green living products, urban farming, urban interventions, energy/water solutions and green houses for local needs. 3)To provide experience and examples to catalyze Los Angeles as the best place to learn and live. 4)To establish a paid internship program for untapped talent to maintain a store 5) To virtualize some neighborhoods and the River in Los Angeles. 6) To serve partners through our ENCOUNTER Network

What will you do to implement this idea/project?


1.- Implement and establish a clear platform and branding for social media and web presence of who we are, what we’ve done, where we’re going, as well as identifying the services we provide to the community for learning, making, creating and partnering.
2.- Continue with the ENCOUNTER Network bringing together every month a diverse group of organizations and individuals to work together to make a better LA. Continue serving them through this grant with their projects and ideas. Identify clear process and deliverables to avoid conflicts and false expectations.
3.- Hire advanced students and leaders to virtualize LA’s South LA Central Corridor to help District 9 visualize and facilitate opportunities for Open Acres.
4.- Hire advanced students and leaders to support first semester students and maintain and develop student store to sustain our program.
5.- Purchase a 3-D printer to create prototypes of products that can be manufactured locally.
6.- Hire advanced students to create Urban Farming Art Constructs Virtually to be used as templates for multiple locations in LA.
7.- Hire advanced students to populate our design catalog for student store with products, furniture, design solutions, mind map apps and more
8.- Develop a clear strategy of integration with our College, District and local initiatives, our partners and the city
9.-Create Synergetic Learning Workshops on our past model for "United Negro College Fund" for which we were recognized as role models for the nation.
10.- Hire advanced students to populate iTunes University Open Education Resource with all our lesson plans.
11.-Create a mind map with all our partners and individuals available online
12.- Develop a project plan with specific deliverables and outcomes
13.- Organize workshops and gallery exhibitions to display the work and milestones.
14.- Develop transparent deliverables for outcomes on our site to show how Synergetic Learning is the best place to learn today and for 2050.
15.- Hire students to do a small virtualization exercise to show multiple stakeholders how 3-D environments can facilitate learning, communication and support socio-economic growth for the Los Angeles River
16.- Develop an internal college procedure for this program to become institutionalized and sustained.



The project will provide participants the ability to create and transform the built environment, a human right, and connect users and space to create sustainable places destined for success and systemic sustainability. This type of learning applies Architecture as a social mechanism that stimulates the sensory system, affecting intellect and desire to create by means of spatial languages and computer technologies. The project provides innovative templates to create spaces, objects, and solutions for local needs and motivates the untapped talent of visual thinkers in our communities. It provides a nurturing environment where learning can happen in the context of doing. It provides safe, environmentally sustainable places in which to live, work and play; places to learn, worship, meet, govern, shop and eat. Private or public, indoors or outdoors, rooms, buildings or complexes this project’s built environment will include neighborhoods, towns, suburbs and cities. A key impact is, for the first time, more people will participate in the transformation and creation of the place they live, work, move, create. The Built Environment is the perfect canvas for learning. The study of Architecture has been very narrow and prevented people from learning and participating in the life cycle of our city, buildings, campuses and neighborhoods. Our students will apply the art and the science of creating such spaces and products. Basic and universal needs will inspire innovative designs and transform needs into evolutionary and participatory reality through the life cycle of the building from concept to construction, operation, maintenance and assessment. The project will be a parallel and collaborative effort to current practices in Architecture. The impact will be the inclusion of stronger social concerns and the ability to react to location and space. It will create, augment, and connect residents with a sustainable environment through more people participating in making and creating the built environment.

Whom will your project benefit? Please be specific.


Higher education, socio-economic leaders and local communities will benefit from synergetic thinking and an integrated approach. Learning will transpire in the context of doing and purpose. Multiple efforts including National Intelligence, local neighborhood first response and Americans with Disabilities will benefit by having local models of how to connect higher education with their communities. Also benefiting will be all students and partners currently participating in our program and the ENCOUNTER Network. This new synergetic learning will catalyze our neighborhoods and our higher education system. With the new lenses of GIS/BIM and 3D modeling and visualizing, the area’s workforce will benefit by facilitation of an unprecedented analytical and comprehensive means of looking at human-made ecosystems. We will benefit by creating a sustainable workforce that will see patterns and relationships never before seen and they will help all sustain on the planet. Currently untapped members of the workforce will be helped via a butterfly effect to present, document, design, and ideate their contribution to the system. to engage, volunteer and participate in decision making. To empower our population, we need to help them contribute in meaningfully civic process with their own passion and purpose. I believe every person has a mission in life and my job is to help them find it and develop it. We need to help them present, document, design, and ideate their contribution to the system. The ENCOUNTER Network, a seminal founding energy, will propel these benefits into the greater population. The ENCOUNTER projects connect multiple existing organizations that will bring the project to the next level financially, technologically and academically.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.


To be clear with time, budget and scope with all our partners will be a key factor for success. World Peace One Education and Communities: This organization provides UCLA Extension courses to our students to help them go on to higher education with education that matters. We are developing an articulation agreement with them to take our students and our ENCOUNTER project to the next level of implantation with 'World Peace One Peace Projects. Los Angeles Worlds Fair: Theme of the Los Angeles World's Fair is "The Connected City" collaborating on supporting their goal of pavilion design, fair planning and urban design layout, with the possibility of engaging the students and our partners. The USC Institute for Genetic Medicine Art Gallery: We will continue to work with the Gallery to organize events and gallery exhibitions promoting integrated thinking and holistic approaches. City Council District 9 is eager to use our student work to prototype a City of Tomorrow. The Los Angeles Open Acres organization has a map with more than 500 open sites that we could transform or virtualize as possible urban interventions. Jobcreate: We are working with this local organization that has the management skills and training guidelines to take our models and graduated interns to implement their goals. Additionally, ENCOUNTER Network such as Efrain Miramontes, Ken Wyrick, and others bring Journalism, Design, Computer Networking, and other services to the project. Power Of Green: This is a program of Five Points in the U.S. consults for countries on Sustainable Technology, Green Architecture, and Renewable Energy. Their services and knowledge will augment our interns' opportunity for growth and collaboration. PV Jobs, the e7 Architecture Studio, and their networks provide an immense amount of knowledge that will support virtualization and simulation for this project. The GBI Global Business Incubator a non-profit research organization “think and do tank” that catalyzes the business development process of launching an idea, a business and a community through growing collaborative business incubator cluster models that grow companies that create jobs. Gregory Wright is working students and faculty to visualize, design, and promote "Sun/ShadeWalls" The Black Caucus California Community College will continue helping us outreach to people of color to be active participants in the built environment as designers, architects, engineers, scientists and leaders.

How will your project impact the LA2050 "LEARN" metrics?

Percentage of children enrolled in early education programs

Percentage of community college students completing a certificate, degree, or transfer-related program in six years

Youth unemployment and underemployment

District-wide graduation rates

HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math

Academic Performance Index scores

College matriculation rates

Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher education institutions, and the workforce) (Dream Metric)

Suspension and expulsion rates (Dream Metric)

Truancy rates in elementary and middle school (Dream Metric)

Students perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school (Dream Metric)


If other, please specify.:

Transformation of the Built Environment

Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.:

By enabling ownership, community pride, mindful stewardship, collaboration strategies, and personal and professional empowerment, Architecture and Environmental Design will attract residents to work together, using existing resources to enhance:
• Access to open space and park facilities through our virtual solution templates to be used by any business or organization in the neighborhood
• Number of children enrolled in afterschool programs attracted by the virtual tools that use the same language as video games. Synergetic Learning will share all information and results with afterschool program.
• Working close with all our partners we will be enhancing and beautifying the neighborhoods with parks, lights, benches, murals, drinking fountains and the percentage of residents who feel safe in their neighborhoods will escalate.
• Working close with our partners pedestrian paths will become nature walks which will enhance transportation experience for attendance at major league sporting events
• Working close with our partners we will design and build urban farming art constructs where residents within 1⁄4 mile of a park will walk and entertain in a healthy environment
• Number of residents with easy access to a “vibrant” park using our geospatial tools and virtualization capabilities to implement in a faster and agile way.
• Number of parks with intergenerational play opportunities
• Number (and quality) of informal spaces for play
• Decrease per capita crime rates by having people engage through a path of discovery and innovation.

Please select which other LA2050 Goals are relevant to your project or organization (check all that apply):

LA is the best place to CONNECT

LA is the best place to CREATE

LA is the best place to PLAY

LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.


The following projects will be completed:
1.- The creation of an online Central Corridor Virtualization and Geospatial Environment that can be used for strategic planning, visualization and what if scenarios.
2.- The creation of an online Los Angeles Neighborhoods and L.A. River Virtualization and Geospatial Environment that can be used for strategy planning, visualization, and 'what if' scenarios.
3.- An active local and global store stocked with at least 30 products
4.- Increased student retention rates for students in the program; an increased number of student transfers; and an increased number of student job placements.
5.- Facilitated projects for the ENCOUNTER Group.
6.- Connections made between our ENCOUNTER Projects and our partners.

The following metrics will be recorded and analyzed:
1.- Number of students that transfer to UCLA Extension
2.- Number of students that move to World Peace One Peace Projects
3.- Number of Business that can start by having a virtual model to explain their project to investors
4.- Number of Innovative products and sustainable solutions
5.- Number of students that get an internship with Power of Green
6.- Number of networks that grow from our synergy

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?


The following projects will be completed:
1.- The creation of an online Central Corridor Virtualization and Geospatial Environment that can be used for strategic planning, visualization and what if scenarios.
2.- The creation of an online Los Angeles Neighborhoods and L.A. River Virtualization and Geospatial Environment that can be used for strategy planning, visualization, and 'what if' scenarios.
3.- An active local and global store stocked with at least 30 products
4.- Increased student retention rates for students in the program; an increased number of student transfers; and an increased number of student job placements.
5.- Facilitated projects for the ENCOUNTER Group.
6.- Connections made between our ENCOUNTER Projects and our partners.

Explain how implementing your project in the next twelve months is an achievable goal.


We have the know-how of the technology and an existing network of partners and collaborators who are ready to take action. We have identified the needs of the community and we will have a state-of-the-art laboratory that can be used after 2 pm on to 9 pm daily, and all day on Fridays and Saturdays. Through a LA2050 LEARN support grant, the Synergy Serving Communities will be L.A.'s 'Best Place for Learning' in a very short period of time. LA 2050 LEARN support towards Synergy Serving Communities is a culmination that will be explosive; we have the passion, additional resources, the community, and a diverse group of students as drivers of change.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?


This program will become self-sustaining after the grant, since it will generate its own money through the student store. The biggest challenges are to institutionalize the paid internship program and to provide an easily accessible and understandable transparent allocation of funds. The good news is that our College and District are moving towards open government and transparency in all their procedures, and our new president Larry Franks is very supportive of innovative thinking, the local workforce, and improving students' lives.

What resources does your project need? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

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As a citizen of LA I can see the rapid growth of human potentials. I am therefore in agreement that a million $s is a start in building LAs Internship program

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over 1 year ago

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Submission Began
Tuesday, July 01, 2014

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Thursday, July 31, 2014
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Winner Announced
Tuesday, September 30, 2014