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Friday Slide Show: Prototyping Festival Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

24 April 2015

Where's Jane Jacobs when you need her? She understood what makes cities tick. And it isn't malls and cars. It's engagement. The panhandler who deadpans, "I'm a motivational speaker."

Prototyping Festival. Some 52 installations along Market Street

Keeping a city alive is a lot of work. Building a downtown ballpark. Upgrading public transportation so, you know, people can actually rely on it. Maintaining the infrastructure of roads and utilities. Oh, and having fun.

The Market Street Prototyping Festival is an example of the latter. This April 9-11 it took over Market Street in San Francisco, arranging an interactive exhibit of 52 installations in five districts.

Here's how the Festival organizers describe the festival:

The goal of the Prototyping Festival is to unite diverse neighborhoods along Market Street, encouraging these vibrant communities to work with designers, artist and makers to build a more connected, beautiful San Francisco. This unique collaboration is a partnership between the San Francisco Planning Department, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Knight Foundation. A diverse jury of more than 50 makers, artists, thought leaders and community stakeholders reviewed the hundreds of submissions received by the October 10th deadline. Ideas were chosen based on their creativity, sense of community, potential to make Market Street a more vibrant public space and ability to identify Market Street as uniquely San Francisco.

The festival started at Civic Center and included districts between Sixth and Seventh Streets, Third and Fourth Streets, First and Second Streets and the Embarcadero.

That's too far to walk and not feasible to drive/park your way through. It's perfect for public transportation, though. And it just so happens that the historic F line of refurbished street cars from all over the world runs on the surface of Market Street. Talk about fun.

Historic F Line. Getting around was easy on the historic street cars, this one Milanese.

We took a streetcar from West Portal to Civic Center, viewed the installations, hopped on an orange F car from Milano to get to the next little district of installations and kept it up before walking to the last district after our hour and half transfer had run out.

We'd checked our camera battery before we left the bunker and it said 100 percent (even though we'd been using the camera), so we didn't charge it. Mistake. We burned through the battery about the time our transfer expired. "Battery Empty," the poorly translated display complained.

Not to fear, though. We had our iPhone 6 Plus with us. The shots at the Embarcadero, starting at the ping pong table, were all shot with the iPhone.

We worked on these images in Lightroom 5.7 but the finals you see here were exported from Lightroom CC.

We can't show you all 52 exhibits but we didn't want to restrict ourselves to just one of each of our favorites. So our final cut ended up being the largest slide show we've yet presented.

If we chose well, you should get the feeling we had of families enjoying the city, the sunshine and the imagination of the makers as they breathe a little life into a place too often left in the shadows.

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