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Massive Prototyping Fest Turns Market Street into Temporary Urban Playground

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This thing #mspf

A photo posted by Mary Anne Kluth (@makluth) on


Despite a series of makeovers over the decades meant to turn Market Street into a pedestrian magnet, SF's main thoroughfare often feels like a place to scurry through, not linger. But when the Market Street Prototyping Festival kicked off yesterday, hordes of strangers began spontaneously interacting over installations ranging from a whirling bench to Ping-Pong tables to a diaphanous fabric tribute to Karl the Fog. Organized by SF Planning and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and on view through Saturday, April 11, the prototyping festival brings 50 temporary installations to the stretch of Market between Van Ness and the Embarcadero, with entries from local firms like David Baker Architects and Future Cities Lab, along with local fabricators and tiny home enthusiasts. Under the auspices of the Better Market Street Initiative, several of the fest's installations could eventually become permanent. (Giant typewriter, we are rooting for you!)

A cool prototype for a giant #typewriter #sculpture on Market St #mspf #sanfrancisco #artfuture #mspf3itsnews

A photo posted by Alexa Smith (@alexaspace) on



Ember, by Jason Rasmussen, lets you play redwood drums with your bum #MSPF #mspfember

A photo posted by Curbed SF (@curbedsf) on


Drought years captured in tree rings at the #MSPF

A photo posted by Curbed SF (@curbedsf) on



Photo via Patricia Chang

Photo via Patricia Chang


#Fogplane #MSPF

A photo posted by Curbed SF (@curbedsf) on


PPlanter #MSPF

A photo posted by Curbed SF (@curbedsf) on

PPlanter is a simple gray-water system that pumps water from a storage tank for hand-washing. The runoff from the sink flushes an open-air urinal, which is screened from view by a wall of plants. (Shewees are provided for adventurous women, ahem.)

Photo via Patricia Chang

Photo via Patricia Chang

Into the night #mspfpeepshow #mspf #sfpeepshow

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"Peep Show," from David Baker Architects.


#MSPF Street Sketch

A photo posted by Curbed SF (@curbedsf) on


#MSPF Meet Wall in action

A video posted by Curbed SF (@curbedsf) on


"Meet Wall" opens and closes according to the movements of pedestrians.


Photo via Patricia Chang

Photo via Patricia Chang


#MSPF Active Rest

A photo posted by Curbed SF (@curbedsf) on


Taking a spin on the Bench-Go-Round, by Dr. Shiny (pictured) and George Zisiadis, for #MSPF

A photo posted by Curbed SF (@curbedsf) on



Photo via Patricia Chang
"Understory," from Sitelab Urban Studio, is a Mylar structure that catches falling caterpillars and gives them a place to form a chrysalis—or a way to climb out without risking death by foot traffic.




#mspf #sanfrancisco #artfuture #5minadventure

A photo posted by Alexa Smith (@alexaspace) on


· Previous Coverage of the Market Street Prototyping Festival [Curbed SF]
· Fabric-Based Fog to Literally Blanket UN Plaza This Spring [Curbed SF]
· Meet ProtoHouse, the Tiny Cube Home Popping Up on Market Street Next Year [Curbed SF]