The streets and sidewalks were lined with 23 different interactive projects, each representing an early stage of what its creators imagined could go viral, improving neighborhoods and cities across the country and the world.
In the alleys behind the San Francisco Chronicle building, an unusual part of town where capital-rich startups flank skeezy porn shops and dollar stores, an experiment was going on. Music from DJs accented the sounds of a warm Saturday afternoon, accompanying 23 interactive project mockups that lined the streets and sidewalks, each representing an early stage of what its creators imagined could become a viral improvement to neighborhoods and cities across the country and the world.
This was the second-ever Urban Prototyping Festival (the first was held in Singapore earlier this year), a one-day event that was the culmination of several months of open-call development, plus a weekend-long makeathon contest.
“[The projects] have all been created, from the ground up, in the last two months,” said Jake Levitas, research director for the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, which instigated the festival and enlisted the help of six other organizations. “Everything’s going to disappear as quickly as it appeared. At 10 p.m., it’ll be gone.”...