The lab is incubating two projects that explore the intersection of human interaction, emerging technology and how we can engage with our city in new ways. The first, called “CARPE LA” represents a collaboration between AIL’s managing director, Erin Reilly, Annenberg alumnus Becky Herr Stephenson, and Artifact Technologies. The second, called “Sankofa City,” is a collaboration between Annenberg professor and lab researcher Francois Bar, Karl Baumann, a USC doctoral student, Kaos Network (Leimert Park), and Urban Systems Laboratory.

We’ve recently entered both explorations into the annual LA2050 grant competition, which funds projects designed to make LA the best place to learn, create, play, connect, and live. After checking out the summaries below, we hope that you will take a moment to click through to each of our submissions and vote! You can vote for each project once during the week voting period of October 18-25.


Research shows that intergenerational play supports language development, critical thinking, and emotional connections among families and communities. However, opportunities for people to come together for intergenerational play—experiences that are equally playful no matter your age—are often difficult to find and access.

CARPE LA is a collaborative augmented reality play experience designed to get kids and adults outside to play a story-driven, mobile game in parks throughout LA. Through a series of summer events at which CARPE LA will be played, teams will collaborate to unlock the open spaces in their neighborhoods.

Click here to see the full entry and vote!

Sankofa City

The advent of new urban-based technologies means that the future form of Los Angeles will be unlike anything one can now imagine. For example, how might self-driving vehicles and augmented reality be used to change our relationship to the city - to even change the city itself? We will conduct a series of collaborative workshops with artists, students, technical experts, and local Leimert Park residents, to create vivid scenarios of the possibilities to share with the public and spark debate.

The future of LA depends on collaboration. “Sankofa City” proves that large research universities, nonprofits, and local communities can work together and empower local citizens to imagine alternative urban technologies that work for the public good. Technologists and students will work with local visual artists, musicians, and residents to design urban prototypes, stories, and videos about the future of Leimert Park and South LA.

Click here to see the full entry and vote!