The Market Street Prototyping Festival believes that collaboration and rapid experimentation can help solve our biggest challenges. An equal partnership between Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the San Francisco Planning Department, the Prototyping Festival was born out of their shared desire to make Market Street a more vibrant, connected destination; one that brings together different people, communities, and neighborhoods.
Over the past several years, the City’s Better Market Street project has gathered extensive community feedback, with a clear response that the public wants a more vibrant and positive experience on Market Street. The City has responded with a commitment to redesigned sidewalks and “Street Life Zones” that make our public space more active, vibrant, and engaging. These are the zones we reimagine and activate during the Festival.
Check out the 30 prototypes selected to be on display at the festival:
Our proposal titled “27 Steps” is a walk for Mandela – a walk for peace. The Bay Area has supported anti-apartheid movement, with local politicians such as Ron Dellums and celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg and Pedro Noguera, the UC Berkeley student body president in 1985, have supported Mandela long before his release to freedom. As a remnant of Mandela’s World Tour to the Bay Area (1990), our proposal resonates Mandela’s struggle and aligns his anti-apartheid voice with the voice of San Francisco.
The pavilion is a walk of twenty seven steps. Two pyramids open the gateway to this path. The void stands for how Mandela inverted the political pyramid by cultivating a culture of forgiveness. The “Invictus” poem that guided Mandela through his 27 years in prison is narrated as one walks this path (via sensor-activated speakers). Recorded narration by those who have personally met and were touched by Mandela will also be heard through the walk.
By night, it becomes a lantern of hope.