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traveling urban golems

A traveling installation project that offers community spaces for local residents and passerbys to add to and participate in a larger collective urban experience.

Each installation is labeled with a simple reflective prompt that guides the intended use, function, and location of the golem.


what is a golem?


An animated anthropomorphic being from Jewish folklore that is created entirely from inanimate matter

Golems are seen a lot in fantasy movies and games and can have a good, evil, or neutral alignment depending on the will of the creator.

 Golems typically take on physical characteristics that align with the intent they were created for and the area they reside.



Golem- an animated anthropomorphic being that is magically created using a specific phrase or intent from inanimate matter

• Labeled with simple reflective prompt


• Leave a part of you behind to power the golem to move around the city


• Adding to larger collective. Cultural communal city altar

 • Golems body and location are influenced by its specific intent

i acknowledge final.png

guiding Design statement

How might we reflect our internal worlds onto the city in order to inspire more creativity and community?

starting themes

Starting Themes

• Mobility as change and manifestation-change being the most human urge to exist.

Urge to grow- to be more than what we are


• Cities are planned out mazes- expected seamlessness vs. unavoidable friction often leads to distress and confusion. People will always act on their own agenda and free will


• Stark, linear environment enforces a way of being and ordering that doesn’t naturally suit our propensities


• Using unpredictability to inspire curiosity and creativity rather than distress


• Value in keeping the operating space similar to how the organism inherently functions as opposed to following an ideal that does not suit the individual



• Mobility through the impossible. communal space that reflects absurdity and suspends disbelief. Absence of time. Spacial illusions.

• Collective confusion- projecting inward fears people may be experiencing in a new social situation onto everyone so that it becomes a bonding experience rather than one that excludes

• Mazes and labyrinths. Exploratory.



• Mobility in urban environment: close and cramped. More conscious thought about others because of physical proximityhas led to more trapped thinking of ourselves and situations

• Habituation is a normal instinct and tool for humanity- beneficial or else we would be constantly overwhelmed but can also lead us to ignore or not see our problems

• Cities are planned out mazes- certain air of predictability but still incongruencies and people will always act on their own agenda and free will- leads to friction


• Stark, linear environment enforces a way of being and ordering that doesn’t naturally suit our propensities



• Expected seamlessness vs unavoidable friction often leads to distress and confusion. Using unpredictability to inspire curiosity and creativity rather than distresscomfort and value in the unknown or unexpected


• Changing it to the way humans naturally act and express themselves- imperfect, not always cohesive but changing, growing, and inspiring- will help internalize those ideals- help lead to healthier mental worldsbetter problem-solving and higher tolerances


• Happy chaos over miserable order- still keep a level of efficiency but trying to contain everything into a neat box is unrealistic. Embracing the chaotic elements to use to advantage.


• There will always be more value in keeping the operating space similar to how the organism inherently functions as opposed to working an ideal plan that won’t ever suit the individual within it.


• Space and storytelling- we live and communicate through stories. Creating stories helps us explain and organize things. Effective way to reach another human
• Spacial awareness- connections predicated on space and ordered experience of space. Interpret world through space
• People interested in unusual or fantastical themes. Reflects base urge and craving as a human/explorer/artist
• Creating formats for the inclusion of diverse set of independent stories rather than one master narrative
• Creating a narrative that resonates with the human story and can be integrated into practiced life


Exquisite Corpse

A game in which each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence, either by following a rule or by being allowed to see only the end of what the previous person contributed.

Salavation Mountain

An art piece in the desert near Slab City that is filled with caverns and painted rooms.

maze vs labyrinth

A maze has dead ends and false paths while a labyrinth is a continuous route that will always lead out.

Salvation mountain has collective altar space that is used for general prayer. Trinkets and idols are left in the space.

Some common  public things people collectively start and add to on their own:

gum on poles

grafitti on walls

locks on gates

stickers on signs


Prompt Brainstorm

• I acknowledge

• I value

• I cultivate

• I thank

• I trust

• I love

• I appreciate

• I know

• I am

• I can

• I create

• I will

participation Brainstorm

• Garden

• Library

• Area to paint

• Area to sign

• Area to pray/ meditate

• Leave items behind that once helped you that you no longer need

• Oddities collection

• Collage (trash/ pictures)

• Community/seating space

• Picture of loved ones and things

• Place to hang things

golems la locations

la golem locations



• Graffiti/ paint area located at vista park

•Provides creative outlet for many close schools

(elementary through college)

•In an area with lots of diverse influx

(near LAX)

•Encourage people to activate  the area beyond Venice and bridge the wetland reserve gap

•Could be propped on side of building as framework for mural

i thank, i will


•A place to leave books or trinkets behind that once helped or served you (passing it on)

•Geocache concept

•Located at Olvera street- a hub of cultural diversity

i cultivate


•Located at fox hills park near Inglewood

•Covered and uncovered area to encourage the start of a garden

•Garden will stay when golem moves

•Can train vines up lattice and plant seedlings in the walls

i value

•Located in downtown LA

•Activates side vacant spaces in the fashion district

•A walkway to hang photos or leave drawings/ writing

i trust


•Located in front of LA City Hall

•A place to sit in shade away from court

•Offers a place to hang sentiments

•Gives a place for voices to be heard in front of local government



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