Public Art

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Layers of SJ

Layers of SJ explores San Jose's identity through photos and collages of artifacts from San Jose's past and present. Using photo stickers, the public is invited to create collages and stories about San Jose. Takara is conducting this project as a San Jose Creative License Ambassador. Creative License Ambassadors is a program of the San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs. Through this program local creative professionals serve as “ambassadors,” championing the power of creative expression in everyday life by inspiring creativity through public hands-on artistic projects. September - November 2018 at VivacalleSJ, Japantown Halloween and a November date TBD.

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Mycelium Chandelier Grow Project

A bio-art project exploring fungus as a design medium. Project website: It resulted in a fungus light sculpture & in public workshops.  It was made possible by a 2017 Creative Impact Fund Audience Engagement Project Grant from SVCreates. The public workshop were conducted at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles on June 2nd, 2017. Collaborating organizations are the Tech Museum BioDesign Studio and the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. Chandelier completed in October, 2017. Installed January 2018.

Pop-Up Mobile Makerspaces

A public space prototyping discussion conducted in public spaces in collaboration with the San José Public Library.  Through pop-up makerspaces, the public was invited to re-imagine public spaces and share ideas via cardboard models and CAD designs. This project was supported with a generous grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Project Blurb book documenting project process and learning. July 2015 through October 2015.


Crosswalks for Downtown San Jose

San Jose Downtown Association and City of San Jose

Design Period: April 2015 , Installation 2015 and 2016.

Colorful crosswalk designs reflecting on San Jose's history. Installed at the intersections of Paseo de San Antonio at First Street, Second Street, Third Street, and Fourth Street in Downtown San Jose, California.

San Jose Mercury News Article


3D Printing Mobile Cart Pop-Up

April 27th, 2014 — San Jose Japantown, CA

project website // event photos

Maker Fair Educator Meet Up May 16th, 2014 — San Mateo Event Center, CA

Makezine article//


Bike and Pedestrian Overpass Art

2011 - 2014— 101/Tully and 101/Capitol Expressway, San Jose, CA

Takara served as a consultant to the VTA and San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs. She designed and conducted middle school art workshops exploring pattern and community identity. Participating students were sixth graders at Renaissance Academy at Mathson, Alum Rock, San Jose. The resulting designs, created both on paper and digitally, were integrated into the patterns on the pedestrian/bike pathway pillars and on the concrete lane dividers.

blog post // another blog post // project photos // ribbon cutting event website//showcase blog post


Public Art Enhancements to the VTA Santa Clara-Alum Rock Bus Rapid Transit Line

2013 — San Jose, CA

Takara served as a research consultant for Merge Conceptual Design. Takara conducted community workshops, researched neighborhood histories, and created a collection of visual imagery reflecting communities along the bus route. The imagery, histories and stories collected by Takara informed the pattern designs and art enhancements created by Merge Conceptual Design for the bus stop shelters. 

The project includes 18 station locations along a 7.4 mile corridor. Takara contributed to the pattern design concepts for many of the bus stops.


Seeking Shelter Bus Stop Installation

September 14-15th, 2012 — San Jose, CA

A public art commissioned by ZERO1 with the support of Target. Commission was part of (e)MERGE, the ZERO1 Biennial Street Festival of art and technology. Accompanying art workshops were set up at tables next to the installation. The public was invited to explore creating physical models of bus stops using slotted note cards and they were invited to create virtual models using SketchUp on HP tablets. The project website included a youth design challenge inviting students to reimagine the bus stop to serve broader community and environmental needs.

2012 Zero1 Biennial page//project photos//project website


Noodle Sipper

2012 — San Jose Japantown, CA 

For the San Jose Japantown Mural Project, coordinated by Tamiko Rast of Rasteriods Design. There were around 60 panels and 30 artists involved.

blog post // project photo// Keepsy book


Wrap It Up Video Project 

2012-2013 — San Jose Japantown, CA 

This middle school project engaged youth in creating video interviews of mural artists in Japantown, San Jose. The videos were then integrated into QR codes on the physical murals. Student also created collaborative murals of colored mesh to add to the mural site.

project website // blog post // project photos


You Are Here Street Banner Project 

2011 — San Jose, CA

The project engaged fifth graders at Cuerton Elementary of San Jose in exploring community identity and geometry through photography and digital pattern design. In introductory lessons, students created cultural textile patterns which were digitally printed as furoshiki fabrics, (Japanese eco-friendly wrapping cloths). The fourth graders of Hawaii Preparatory Academy also participated in the introductory workshop. Students from both schools peer critiqued and examined the cultural motifs of both schools' designs. Collaboratively, they collaged their patterns and photos into seventeen 8’ x 2.5’ street banners. Their banners, hanging from the light posts on Alum Rock Avenue, carried the students’ creative interpretations and reflections on community identity out into the neighborhood.

project website // project photos



2011 — San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, San Jose, CA

Takara collaborated with couture fashion designer Colleen Quen and architect Rick Lee to create both a virtual public participatory project and a physical installation exploring Silicon Valley identity.

project website // blog post // another blog post // project photos


Clogged Currents

2009 — San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, San Jose, CA

A visitor participatory semi-permanent art installation for the 2009 SubZERO Festival.

blog posting // project photos