I was excited this year to catch the tail end of the Market Street Prototyping Festival. This year some flair was added with the addition of the Sunset pianos scattered alongside the projects, it was a lovely touch. I definitely appreciate and recognize the efforts, work and ideas of all of the participants and organizers, and would like to congratulate them on making San Francisco a unique place to visit, work and live in. Thank you so much.

The festival also gave me some time to reflect on how public art can grow in San Francisco. If I found time to participate, how might I have gone about it? I was excited by the collaborative aspects and nature of such artwork, and thought about how to expand beyond the privately owned public open spaces and the lovely parklets near cafes. Wouldn’t it be great if we did research too? Really get an understanding of the context and environment of the neighborhoods. Map out the existing behaviors of pain points and joys of the people whose lives cross Market street. Consider the constraints of time and weather. Partner with the existing non-profits and institutions of the locations to make the pieces resonate and meaningful to the audience. (I’m eyeing the SFMOMA, the YBCA, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Asian Art Museum and 826 Valencia, in particular). In essence bring the domains of human centered design and user experience to the makings of the prototypes, and make them really shine.

It would also be interesting too to see if any of David Rose’s ideas outlined in his book Enchanted Objects could be applied. The ideas of omniscience, telepathy, safekeeping, immortality, teleportation and expression. Maybe even with a slant humor of internet memes, something that involves cats or along the style of Jessica Walsh graphic art. That’ll be dependent on the culture of the neighborhood though I suppose. I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings in.

If you have any ideas for the next festival, I’d love to hear about them! Drop me a note in the comments below.


Saliem Chiu.