San Francisco

Exploratorium to begin testing Alvord Lake prototypes tomorrow

Tomorrow from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., Upper Haight locals will have the chance to interact with and weigh in on a potential new public installation set to debut at Alvord Lake.

The project, part of the Exploratorium Studio for Public Spaces, would be a two-year temporary installation that responds to the site, encouraging passersby to interact with the space in new, different ways.

Shawn Lani, the director of the Exploratorium's Studio for Public Spaces, said this week's test would be one of a handful. Other mock-ups and physical prototypes will be given a test run in December, with SFPS staff taking feedback in person and eventually through a second public survey.

However it's executed, the installation will highlight "the nature of how things flow and form across time," Lani said, noting that one of the highlights of the area for the Exploratorium is the historic richness of the environment.

"What's really great about this location is how this site came to be — it's a great story," he said. 

"We're really paying attention to how people use" the area and what they want out of interacting with it, he added. "We take into account how people feel emotionally in that space, and not feel too fixed or heavily imposed upon."

"We want people noticing things," he added, "paying attention to the world around them."

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