This Weekend: Market Street Prototyping Festival Returns With 40 Public Art Installations

"Bench Go Round" redesigns seating to encourage interaction between strangers. (Photo: Market Street Prototyping Festival/Flickr)
By Sasha Sommer - Published on October 05, 2016.

If you think Market Street is busy now, just wait. From this Thursday, October 6th, through Saturday, October 8th, 40 different interactive public art installations will take over the sidewalks of Market, all the way from the Embarcadero to Civic Center Plaza.

The third Market Street Prototyping Festival—an ongoing collaboration between the Planning Department and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts—will feature 30 brand-new installations ready for exploration, as well as 10 returning exhibits. Here are a few of this year's newcomers: 

"Prism Portal," a rainbow passageway at Fifth and Market that subtly pays tribute to the area's LGBT history. | Image: Clare Hart-Slattery, Ryan Sison, Tigran Tryler Pell

An "urban mood ring" that will analyze the city's current mood. | Photo: Paul Jamtgaard & Julia Grinkrug
"Excalibur," a "forest" developed by local high school students, where passersby can attempt to become the ruler of Market Street by successfully yanking a sword wedged in the rocks. | Photo: Youth Art Exchange
"Maps of San Francisco," a kinetic sculpture containing a series of intricate maps revealing different aspects of the city. | Photo: Maps of San Francisco
"Vote with Your Feet" encourages participants to answer a question by walking through one of two doors. | Image: Michael Philetus Weller

Check out the full list of 2016 prototypesfestival map and special events schedule before you go. The walking tour app Detour is also planning to offer a guided audio tour, to help attendees navigate with their smartphones.

Once the festival concludes, the prototypes will vanish once again. But some may find their way to other parts of the city for semi-permanent display.

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