Selected Project Livable Body Livable City
Livable Body Livable City. Concept art courtesy of the project team.

Katy Fox
Founder, We Are Movement

Corey Krehel
Chief Technology Officer at D-Tools



Central Market

An interactive way for the public to experience their body, mind & senses—in relationship to public space—in a totally new way.

Livable Body Livable City is a way to give the public direct, unexpected experiences of themselves & body literacy. Three ‘activities’ prompt participants to explore their relationship to: posture & gravity, balance & vision, and movement & the spiralic nature of bone. Underlying these activities are the questions: “How do I usually move? How can I move differently? How does doing so change how I feel? How does it change how I relate to this street, to these people around me?”

We envision the following 3 stations forming one playground; in the future they could be placed separately along Market Street. Each will include a ‘to-do’, directions, educational text, playful quotes and images. We have sketched them with planter boxes to accent these being living explorations.

Posture & Gravity

Someone you love is walking toward you from a block away. You can’t see their face but you immediately recognize their ‘movement signature’. How we stand feels so inherently normal to each of us that even when we change our position—say hit a baseball or sit with coffee—we remain in our structural patterns. This exhibit gives a fun & challenging ‘taste’ of a different posture, one where the pelvis is upright in relationship to gravity.

We’ll secure a block of adjustable height to a wall (we’ll have multiple blocks). People will be instructed to stand at the block in a way which makes it hard to stay upright…Doing so asks us to work in new ways, changing our posture and our emotions. Information will explore the relationship of posture and emotion, with prompts about how we ‘hold ourselves’ in public.

Vision & Balance
You’re probably reading this on a computer. Doing so involves a necessary narrowing of vision. For a moment, stand, lift one foot and see how it feels while still looking at the screen. Stand on both feet, reach your arms out and, wiggling your fingers, focus your vision there (without turning your head!). Now lift one foot, let your arms relax at your sides. Using peripheral vision engages an older part of the brain that aids in balance. Feeling more balanced helps us feel present, stable and able, which is a nice feeling to have and share when walking down the street. For the playground, we will encourage a similar exercise, including Tibetan eye exercises that induce calm states.

Spiral Bones & Movement

We don’t have a single straight bone in our body. Even bones that look straight form from a spiral matrix. When we see a talented dancer or a graceful athlete throwing a ball, their movements reflect our spiralic structure.

This station asks participants to slide their hands along wooden spirals while feeling how that effects movement in their arms and bodies. Text and diagrams will explore principles of spiral bone formation & how we can feel this intrinsic design in our everyday movements. Participants will be prompted to notice curves versus straight structures in public space and how they affect our relationship to movement, space and one another.

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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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