Gentrification in New York City has long been regarded by many as both the cause and outcome of its cultural and economic changes. As the rising housing prices forced many former residents to move out, it created a different community. This phenomenon is well represented in Manhattan’s Chinatown. This thesis intends to artistically present a story of gentrification and provoke viewers to share their opinions on New York gentrification from their different cultural and social backgrounds. The aim of the project is to connect viewers and inspire them to collaboratively find ways to help their communities face gentrification. Charlie’s Choice is an animation that tells the story of Charlie’s life in Chinatown and how gentrification changed it. The animation will be video projection mapped on the buildings at Bayard street and will include an interactive experience in which viewers are asked to make decisions for the character.
The audience will interact with a mobile interface after watching Charlie’s' animation projected on the buildings. They will have the opportunity to answer the question "If you were Charlie, how would you react?" They will make a choice between "Leave the community and move to a fancy building" and "Stay and build a better community with neighbors" and share their own opinions of gentrification in the text box. Once they make a choice, it will lead them to the video clips of "Charlie moving into a fancy building" or "Charlie staying with the community and developed community with the neighbors".