Prototyping Fair To Return To Market This Fall, With More Experimental Attractions

The "peepSHOW" prototype at Sixth and Market during the April 2015 festival. (Photos: Courtesy of Market Street Prototyping Festival)
By Brittany Hopkins - Published on June 11, 2016.

Fans of large-scale interactive public art, rejoice: another Market Street Prototyping Festival is on the horizon.

For those unfamiliar with the Prototyping Festival, it's a collaboration between the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Planning Department. As the city continues to plan a major overhaul of the Market corridor's public realm through the Better Market Street plan, the multi-day festival serves as a testing ground for interactive sidewalk art installations that could help make Market "a more vibrant, connected destination."

For the 2016 festival (October 6-8), 30 prototypes were selected from an open call for submissions. They'll be spread across three districts: Central Market (Market from Seventh to Mason), Retail Heart (Fifth to Third), and Embarcadero (Fremont to Embarcadero).

The projects cover a wide range of uses, from greening to games to exercise. Here are a few notable ones:

Addressing the fact that communities surrounding Mid-Market have some of the lowest tree canopies in the city, Friends of The Urban Forest will bring a Pop-Up Forest to the Central Market district. Using trees, native plants, mirrors and recycled materials, the installation will create an immersive forest that appears to pop up along the street.

Pop-Up Forest.

Within the Retail district, the mirror-based installation Pillars of Reflection will attempt to capture beauty in the heavily-trafficked area's chaos. "Each one of these mirrors is angled differently as to produce a kaleidoscope effect, reflecting the complex moments of Market Street in a collage of reflected images," the project's description explains.

Pillars of Reflection.

And down at the Embarcadero zone, the team behind Knotty Sidewalk promises to bring "knot your average street furniture" to the sidewalk. 

Knotty Sidewalk.

In addition to the 30 newcomers, expect to see 10 familiar prototypes return to the streets, including the City Fit Path, Bench Go Round, The People's Table and the peepSHOW (pictured above). These prototypes have graduated to a new Incubator program, and could become semi-permanent installations for up to two years, beginning with the festival.

The People's Table.

Finally, the Yerba Buena Center For the Arts and the Planning Department are teaming with the Youth Art Exchange to include prototypes designed and built by 14 high school students from campuses around the city. They'll be working with "stakeholders" in the Mid-Market area and a design firm, to develop installations that cater to the neighborhood.

For more details on the 2016 festival and all of the prototypes that have been selected to date, visit the Market Street Prototyping Festival website. You'll also find regular updates on the festival's Facebook page.

About 16 hours ago
San Francisco Castro Duboce Triangle

Castro cocktail bar Blackbird reopens after four-month hiatus with expanded outdoor seating

After a four-month hiatus, Castro cocktail bar Blackbird reopened Wednesday with expanded outdoor seating. Read More

Apr 14, 2021
San Francisco Glen Park

Glen Park’s adorably quaint Tyger’s Coffee Shop has permanently closed

The unpretentious, old-school omelette destination at Diamond and Chenery Streets closed April 1, though another cafe will apparently replace it. Read More

Apr 14, 2021
San Francisco Divisadero NoPa

Bay Area bagel boom continues with opening of Schlok's in NoPa

After months of operating a wildly popular bagel pop-up, Schlok's is getting set to open a brick-and-mortar shop at 1263 Fell Street, in a former laundromat off Divisadero in NoPa (in the same complex as RT Rotisserie and Nopalito). Read More

Apr 13, 2021
San Francisco SoMa

30-bed drug sobering center proposed for Howard Street office building

SF Mayor London Breed on Tuesday announced a proposal to lease an empty office building at 1076 Howard Street for use as a 30-bed drug sobering center, making good on a promise first made before the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The facility will focus on those living on the streets who are experiencing methamphetamine-induced psychosis. Read More