$10 Juice: A Cultural Symbol for Gentrification

While waiting for Uber in front of the newly renovated Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles, a security guy struck a conversation and asked me what the juice I was drinking tasted like. I kindly replied and said it’s made out of pineapple, cucumber, kale and ginger and it sort of tastes like watered-down pineapple juice. He still seemed quite curious and eventually walked away as if he was embarrassed about the whole situation.

Perhaps he didn’t understand why I was drinking something that didn't seem to taste particularly great and costs as much as what he probably makes in an hour. Perhaps the security guy may have been right. Buying a $10 juice didn't seem economical at all. In fact, my decision to purchase the juice may be creating a rather uncomfortable gap in social equality.

Later that day, I wanted to find out whether there is a correlation between juice bars and gentrification. So I screen-grabbed the search results for “juice" on Google Maps, which displays the promoted businesses that sell juice. I then compared the pattern from Google Maps to the map on Zillow based on houses for sale with the price of $500,000 and above. Ditto! There seems to be some correlation between the two. Not a huge surprise, but the simple comparison does tell a lot about the trajectories that gentrification will follow.

Where do you expect the gentrification will happen next in Los Angeles?

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Tentacle Arm by Kaylene Kau

A prosthetic arm that is both flexible and adjustable in order to grip a variety of objects.

The Motor winds a cable while releasing the other, causing the arm to curl. Releasing the cable will return the arm to its normal position.

Experiment with Face Projection Mapping

After completing a photoshoot for a project, we did a quick experiment with face projection mapping using Asus S1 LED projector with 200 lumens. Pretty decent turnout considering we only spent 20 minutes.

Photography: Andrew Yoon
Model: Cheryl Vu

Lunettes pour une vision autre by Julio Le Parc

"Lunettes pour une vision autre," which translates to “Twelve glasses for another vision," is an experience developed in 1966 that uses glasses to distort perception in twelve different ways such as creating fragmented, colored and slow-mo vision.

“The ideal spectator is the most free, most open, least conditioned," Le Parc says of the current installation. “The most important thing for me is that brief moment of interconnection."

mAh to Hours

There is something magical about turning complicated battery capacity ratings measured in mAh into number of hours, which is much simpler to understand. Knowing that mobile devices consume varying amounts of power at different rates, this idea would be difficult to implement unless it was marketed for two of the most popular smartphones such as Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy. Regardless, the idea of framing a product with time instead of technical language is quite brilliant.

Update: I found a similar concept being used for a flash drive called Gigs 2 Go. Treating storage as a disposable medium instead. Immediate, simple, cheap and small, instead of slow, permanent, expensive and bulky. Certainly an example of how perception towards data storage has changed over the years.