San Francisco Looks for the Next Big DIY Thing

With the global success of the city's homegrown "parklets" program firmly established, the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts is hosting a series of "urban prototyping" festivals in S.F. in the hopes of finding the next DIY superstar.

Emily Badger is gung-ho for the next generation of DIY urbanism projects that will be exhibited as part of the "urban prototyping" festival being hosted by GAFFTA in downtown San Francisco in October. In preparation for the festival, "GAFFTA and several partner organizations – including the Mayor's Office of Civic Innovation – have been looking for replicable, affordable ideas at the intersection of public space and technology." And Badger delivers a sneak peak at some of the ideas that will be on display, including a DIY traffic counter, a hybrid bathroom/planter, and a prototype that "could turn any set of public stairs into a xylophone." 

"'We don't want $50,000, $100,000 really nice installations necessarily,' [Jake] Levitas, [research director at GAFFTA] says. Rather, the groups want to showcase the kind of open-source idea that could be demoed in San Francisco and rebuilt around the world, just as parklets were. Each project, they hope, will have a technological component, whether that involves sensors, smart phone apps, web maps or digital how-to guides for reconstructing the ideas."

Full Story: The Next Generation of DIY Urbanism Projects: So Much Cooler Than Parklets


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