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Beyond Prototyping: The Long-Term Impact of Urban Experiments
Brought to you by Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, Intersection for the Arts, and Rebar
Urban Prototyping [UP] uses rapidly prototyped design, art, and technology projects to improve cities. Large-scale UP Festivals around the world bring together thousands of people each year to create, discuss, and experience a better future for their city.
In 2012, the inaugural UP San Francisco saw the creation and public exhibition of 23 new projects. Each prototype was created in less than two months for less than $1,000, and has open-sourced their designs and code through UP so their work can be replicated anywhere.
After successfully demonstrating their proofs of concept in the public realm, each project team is now working with San Francisco and other cities to explore how to take their work to the next level. The prototypes are the first step in the longer UP process of quickly prototyping new ideas and scaling what works to make cities better, faster.
City pilot programs and test installations can make it easier to transform great ideas from outside City Hall into permanent components of the city’s physical and digital infrastructure. San Francisco has established itself as a leader in this process through its Parklet Program - inspired by Rebar’s Park(ing) Day - and, this year, its Living Innovation Zones.
For this panel, we’re bringing together leaders in city government and public design helping drive this exciting intersection of urban development, creativity, and civic engagement. San Francisco’s Chief Innovation Officer, Jay Nath, and Pavement to Parks Project Manager, Kay Cheng, will be joined by practitioners Matthew Passmore of Rebar, and two UP San Francisco Team Members - Thomas Deckert of Glowing Crosswalk and John M. Francis of Street Stage.
5:30 PM --- Guest Arrival + Mixer
6:00 PM --- Panel Discussion Begin
7:00 PM --- Q&A
Jay Nath, Mayor’s Chief Innovation Officer, is working with the tech community and the public to help reinvent government in the digital age. Mr. Nath joined the City & County of San Francisco in September 2006 and has since help establish the City as a leader in open data, open government, and innovation. In 2010, Nath established the nation’s first open source software policy for city government, and in the same year authored Open Data Legislation requiring City departments to make all non-confidential datasets under their authority available on DataSF.org, the city’s one stop web site for government data. Mr. Nath launched DataSF in August 2009 using open source technology taking only three months from idea to go-live.
Prior to working for the City, Jay Nath worked at SquareTrade, an internet company in San Francisco where we was a senior product manager. Previously he was a senior consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he started his career after graduating from Cornell. He lives with his wife, Christine, and two cats in San Francisco’s Sunset District. His interests are biking (in the slow lane), vegetarian cooking and general geekery.
Kay Cheng is an Urban Designer/Planner with the City and County of San Francisco Planning Department. She has been in the urban planning field for nearly a decade, working in both public and private agencies. Kay received a bachelor degree from University of California at Riverside and a Master Degree from Columbia University in Urban Planning. She is the lead urban designer for city’s first Urban Forest Master Plan and a project manager for the Pavement to Parks program, which serves as a public laboratory for the City to work with local communities to test new ideas in the public realm. Most notably the Parklet Program converts underutilized parking spaces into new public spaces for seating, greenery, and places to gather.
Matthew Passmore is an artist, urbanist, curator and teacher. With a background in philosophy, aesthetics, filmmaking and law, he brings a multidisciplinary approach to innovating cultural projects around the world. As the original founder at Rebar, Matthew initiated the first Rebar project, the Cabinet National Library, in 2004. He has since generated the concepts for many other well-known Rebar projects, including PARK(ing) Day. Matthew studied philosophy and aesthetics at UCLA and law at UC Hastings College of Law. He lectures at venues around the world on the relationship between art and the quality of the public realm, and has taught interdisciplinary design courses at the California College of the Arts (CCA). He was recently a curator and key collaborator at the Urban Prototyping (UP) Festival in San Francisco. Matthew is currently an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, and teaches courses on contemporary art, environmental design and urban theory at UC Berkeley and the San Francisco Art Institute.
Urban Prototyping Team Member // Glowing Crosswalk
Thomas Deckert is an industrial product designer on a mission to empower people to lead healthier and happier lives. Based in San Francisco and Brooklyn, he has spent the past four years designing products for the built environment and is now working on designs for public space in cities. He is fascinated with the intersection of design, architecture, urban planning, and the social and natural sciences. When he's not designing, you can find him curating the Imperfect Film Festival, animating for the Sketch Response Project, cruise-directing the Urban Eating League, or most likely singing his heart out at karaoke.
Urban Prototyping Team Member // Street Stage SF
John M. Francis is a San Francisco-based city planner and urban designer specializing in street design. Along with collaborator Ross Hansen, he designed and built Street Stage, a new type of parklet dedicated to urban street performance. Conceived during the SF Urban Prototyping Festival in October 2012, Street Stage elevates street performers and recognizes their unique role in fostering artistic expression and community in the urban environment. John and Ross are working with the SF Planning Department's Pavement to Parks Program and local community groups to install permanent and mobile Street Stage modules in locations around San Francisco.