Selected Project Maps of San Francisco
Maps of San Francisco. Concept art courtesy of the project team.
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Prototypers

Morgan Fabian
Research & Design Engineer at Autodesk

Taylor Stein
Technology Evangelist at Autodesk

Marti Deans
Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing

Nicole Vieira
Fine Arts student at San Francisco Art Institute

Alex Mandel
Interaction Designer at Google

Sahana Rajasekar
Software Engineer at Pinterest

 

Prototype Sponsor
Grovesnor


Location

EMBARCADERO

Embarcadero

A playful and interactive sculpture that enables people to connect with our city and each other through a moving mosaic of historic, data-rich, and artistic maps of San Francisco.

San Francisco’s deep wealth of culture, geography, and history make it difficult to adequately depict from a single perspective. Rather, it is an intricate mosaic of idiosyncratic qualities that define our city. Its aggressive topography, its wild and diverse foundation of people, its pioneering history of progressive social movements along with boundless other dimensions together form the pillars of San Francisco’s presence.

Our project aims to enable people to interactively explore these many qualities of San Francisco through a kinetic sculpture consisting of a series of maps that interactively explore and reveal different aspects of San Francisco’s rich personality.

The sculpture itself stands 7 feet wide, 6 feet tall, and 4.5 feet deep and consists of two arrays of large wooden cubes mounted on metal cylindrical pipes that allow the cubes to freely rotate. The different maps of the city, each with a unique aesthetic and purpose, are attached in sections to one side of each cube. Each side of a cube will display the same area of the map so that the array of cubes as a whole will always show a full map of San Francisco. As people rotate the cubes, the different maps will create a beautiful patchwork map of the city, expressing its diversity and multi-dimensionality, while allowing closer up views to explore the details of information expressed in each map.

The maps themselves will be chosen to represent a diverse array of perspectives. A historical map from before the 1906 earthquake will let people explore another era of the city while contemplating the grave power of the earth on which the city is built. A CNC’d topographical map will provide a tactile experience for everyone to physically explore the unique contours of the city. A map with environmental efforts protecting our parks and where trees are being planted sends a powerful message about the city’s commitment to sustainability. Another will showcase our many iconic landmarks with an original artistic rendering. With eight total maps of San Francisco, we can capture a broad set of perspectives; that said, we are also eager and open to collaborate with the city of San Francisco and other artists on other potential map concepts.

We believe that Market Street can once again be a central artery of activity and engagement in San Francisco. Our installation’s prominence and aesthetic appeal will breath energy into the street. It’s maps and information will inspire communities and offer people the chance to connect with unique aspects of our city. Finally, its unique and playful interface will promote connection and interaction between people from all walks of life.


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The Market Street Prototyping Festival is a collaboration between the San Francisco Planning Department and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

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