2016 Open Call for Market Street Prototyping Festival

Bay Area residents are invited to submit prototype ideas to make Market Street a more vibrant public space. 30 projects will be selected to be on display during three-day Festival October 6-8, 2016. Submissions deadline: April 15, 2016.

SAN FRANCISCO – (March 2, 2016) Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) in partnership with the City of San Francisco Planning Department, is requesting creative proposals for submission in the 2016 Market Street Prototyping Festival. This is the second year Bay Area residents from all walks of culture, practice, and discipline have been invited to submit exceptional bold concepts that will encourage interactivity, communication, and inspiration on Market Street—San Francisco’s grand pedestrian boulevard.

Of the submissions received, 30 prototypes will be displayed during the three-day Market Street Prototyping Festival, transforming Market Street into a public platform. Participants will receive the funding and mentorship necessary to make their visions a reality. A $2,500 stipend provides for materials, technology, and other components to build out the concept. Finalists will also earn a mentorship that partners them with professional design experts who will offer technical and fabrication expertise to project teams in taking their concept designs to prototype designs.

For submission guidelines and to submit a project, visit here. Deadline for submissions is April 15, 2016.

“The Market Street Prototyping Festival asks: Do we believe our public spaces are essential to personal and societal transformation?” remarks Deborah Cullinan, YBCA’s CEO. “What kinds of partnerships between the City, the community and non-profits are needed to make these public spaces successful? The Open Call is not limited to artists and designers—we are counting on the creative change-makers of our community and beyond to participate in the kind of collective inquiry that will push through these complex questions and lead to breakthrough solutions for this wonderful city.”

Adds Neil Hrushowy, Manager, City Design Group from the San Francisco Planning Department, “As the civic backbone of San Francisco, Market Street has always been a grand space, changing and evolving many times since its original concept, from its diagonal direction to streamline the delivery of goods to the underground construction of transportation lines. And now it requires the collaboration and attention of our city’s most innovative thinkers and agencies working together to meet the needs of today.”

Installations will line Market Street from the Embarcadero to Central Market, spanning 1.5 miles in the heart of downtown. The event allows countless pedestrians to experience, explore, and interact with the prototype installations. Select projects will then live on to become a part of the 2018 Better Market Street project, a comprehensive streetscape redesign.

A diverse panel of designers, artists, thought leaders and community stakeholders will review submissions. Ideas will be selected based on their creativity, sense of community, ability to meet the entry criteria, as well as their potential to make Market Street a more vibrant public space and to identify Market Street as uniquely San Francisco.

For more information about this opportunity and submissions, visit: http://marketstreetprototyping.org/get-involved/submit-a-project/

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) is one of the nation’s most innovative contemporary arts centers. Founded in 1993, YBCA’s mission is to generate culture that moves people. Through powerful art experiences, thoughtful and provocative content, and deep opportunities for participation, YBCA is committed to creating an inclusive culture that awakens personal and societal transformation. YBCA presents a wide variety of programming year-round, including performing arts, visual arts, film/video and civic engagement. YBCA venues include the Forum, Screening Room, Galleries and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater. For tickets and information, call 415.978.ARTS (2787). For more information, visit http://www.ybca.org/.

City of San Francisco, Planning Department
The San Francisco Planning Department plays a central role in guiding the growth and development in our City. The Department works with other City agencies and the community to help achieve great planning for a great city. The mission of the San Francisco Planning Department, under the direction of the Planning Commission, shapes the future of San Francisco and the region by: generating an extraordinary vision for the General Plan and in neighborhood plans; fostering exemplary design through planning controls; improving our surroundings through environmental analysis; preserving our unique heritage; encouraging a broad range of housing and a diverse job base; and enforcing the Planning Code.


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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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