Selected Project Back to Paper
Back to Paper. Concept art courtesy of the prototype team.

Raphaelle Chaygneaud-Dupuy
Lead Prototyper

Brian Bordley

Evan Mac

Alexandre Jais



Central Market

A paper dispenser of cultural content (poem, short story, drawing, comic strip) created by the community at large. Contribute your art and it will be reborn to a stranger via our box.

You are at the bus stop, everyone around you is riveted on their phone. 7 minutes to wait… oh but what is that black box labelled “Back to paper”? You turn the crank and a piece of paper gets out of it. It is a short story! When you are done reading you keep it to show around you and maybe stick it on your fridge. Right on time, the bus is here.

This box freely distributes all sorts of art work, poems, comic stripes, short stories, drawings, written by anyone who wants to contribute to this public art project. Any Market Street passerby can enjoy a bit of culture written by a fellow community member. Thus the art circulates and people can decide to either keep the paper slip, to stick it on the box, on the bus stop or anywhere else. No app, no smartphone, just a small crank to pump out the paper. Thus there is no technology barrier to access the content, and technology addicts can take a break from it.
The design of the box is reduced to the minimum necessary to foster the public’s curiosity and to push them to interact with their environment in a playful, mysterious way. Once that first discovery step is complete the reader will find more details on the project on the back of the paper slip. The submission process will be carried out through two types of actions: first a community outreach campaign to gain as much diversity as possible in the submissions and second a website to be the support platform for the project.

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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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