Woodbury Educators Win International CODA Merit Award

Jeanine Centuori
Cate Roman
Cate Roman

Jeanine Centuori, director of the university’s Agency for Civic Engagement (ACE) and professor of Architecture, along with Cate Roman, professor of Graphic Design, have won a merit award in the sixth annual international CODAawards: Collaboration of Design + Art. Their collaborative civic engagement project, Walk Watts, was selected from among 426 entries from 30 countries, picking up honors in the Landscape category. The CODAawards recognize collaborations that result in outstanding projects that successfully integrate commissioned art into interior, architectural, or public spaces.

 Showcasing the Watts neighborhood’s history while providing a new way to experience the community, ACE teamed with the Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC) on Walk Watts, an interactive, self-guided walking tour of often-overlooked landmarks in South Los Angeles.

Walk Watts combines three integrated components involving sound, sight, and touch: a downloadable app entitled HOLLA (Hear Our Local Legacy App), which features voices from the community; a z-fold pocket map; and temporary environmental graphics. Each component may be experienced separately while serving as a prompt to explore the other two. The Walk Watts project enlisted faculty and students from Woodbury’s Schools of Architecture and Media, Culture & Design.

“This collaboration between Woodbury University and the Watts Labor Action Committee underscores our mission to educate our students in making a real difference for the public good.” says Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, dean of the School of Architecture. “Congratulations to Jeanine and Cate, and students Alex Kim and Briana Pong, for their efforts in designing this experientially transformative interactive walking tour of South L.A.”

Sue Vessella, dean of the School of Media, Culture & Design adds, “The Walk Watts project is an example of Woodbury’s rich tradition of both cross-disciplinary and civic engagement initiatives. The project amplifies the community’s rich history as well as the contemporary artistic and cultural artifacts that make Watts such a distinctive destination. What Cate, Jeanine, their colleagues and our students have accomplished with Walk Watts is inspiring.”

ACE connects students and faculty with nonprofit and governmental organizations that are dedicated to helping underserved communities. Students work collaboratively across Woodbury’s disciplines, using their skills to make a real, positive difference for public good.


Learn more about the Agency for Civic Engagement
Learn more about Architecture programs at Woodbury
Learn more about the Graphic Design program
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