Our Gallery at One Market just set up twelve new exhibits that come under the heading of Design in the Public Interest. These exhibits feature products, places, and processes where design is used for common good instead of monetary profit. In a series of twelve blog articles over the next few weeks, I thought I would pick them off one at a time. The first two I covered were:
Our next one is Reclaiming Public Space.
- Rebar Design Studio // more
- City of San Francisco’s Pavement to Parks // more
- Ogrydziak/Prillinger Architects // more
- Autodesk Infrastructure Modeler // more
- LinkedIn IDEO.org's Tim Brown: Must-See Public Interest Design
- Architizer: Architects, You Can Help Save The World! See 5 Remarkable Projects From New Autodesk Exhibition
Where do people form community? Some rely on pubs. For others, it's churches or synagogues. As Robert Putnam famously wrote in his bestselling book Bowling Alone, community was once formed in funny shoes at the bowling alley, but many of these institutions have eroded in the age of digital entertainment and nonstop schedules. How do we get them back? That may seem like a question better left to sociologists, but in fact, designers play a huge role in creating opportunities for the imaginative interaction that bonds people to one another and to the place they call home.
San Francisco is the leader when it comes to creating community via little urban oddities, called "parklets." These small parks are often made by reclaiming parking spots with colorful chairs and tables, and other inviting accoutrements of human interaction, like garden beds and grassy slopes.
Local design studio Rebar first installed a parklet in 2005. Since then, their popularity has exploded — sometimes made possible through private firms, like Ogrydziak/Prillinger Architects, and often through the City of San Francisco’s Pavement to Parks program, a collaborative effort between city departments to create parklets in locations that citizens suggest.
Other cities have been inspired to emulate San Francisco’s success. Most recently, Chicago has announced that it will take a parklet approach to community-building in the nooks and crannies of the urban landscape. Oh those copycats. Actually it's OK, it's for a good cause, it's design in the public interest. "Dude, where's my parklet?"
Thanks to Global Content Manager, Matthew Tierney, and Brand Marketing Manager, Grace Hom, for content contained in this blog article. This is just one of the many exhibits in the gallery at One Market in San Francisco. The gallery is open to the public on Wednesdays from 12 pm to 5 pm, and admission is free. Visit us.
Gathering is alive in the lab.