Lamp avatar
Click Me Too to show your support for this idea, and we’ll keep you updated on its progress.
Coby Unger

32 neighbors want Adaptive Playscapes on Market Street.

“Adaptive Playscape” is an offering to the urban public by its diverse youth. Given its mobility and structure, it will flex between being highly intimate and highly public, depending on the urban context in which it is deployed. It seeks to inspire delight, exploration, and engagement. We envision that this offering will connect the urban public with the city in an unexpected way, that brings delight and calls attention to the adjacent urban landscape, and their scale within it.

Kids and play are some of our most powerful tools for building community and bringing together diverse populations to imagine their neighborhoods in new ways. Time and time again in our work, we’ve seen this happen in places as far flung as Flint, MI, Camden, NJ, the Far Rockaways, NY, and even in Haiti. 

“Adaptive Playscape” will be designed and fabricated by a team of middle school-aged artists, guided through the process by design and fabrication professionals. These artists will come from three Bay Area school communities located within 1.5mi of the Ferry Building, such as The Youth Chance High School (at-risk youth), Notre Dame des Victoires or St. Mary’s School (both Catholic prep schools), Fusion Academy (alternative private school), or Bessie Carmichael School (Filipino public school). They will contribute their own perspective and experience on Market Street, and gather perspectives from local stakeholders on their understanding and vision for the area, as well as researching Market Street’s past. These stakeholders will include commuters, business owners, street vendors, tourists and most importantly other kids. These insights, coupled with the artists’ creativity, will inform the design. This installation will be an opportunity for a generally underrepresented group - kids - to make a tangible impact and express their vision for what the city needs. The students coming together for this project will have an opportunity to connect across diverse neighborhoods and backgrounds in a way that they would not otherwise, in collaboration on the “Adaptive Playscape.” 

A cheerleader of possibility, Public Workshop creates uniquely engaging opportunities for youth and their communities to shape the design of their cities. We are redefining the way that youth participate as citizens and leaders in their communities, and addressing the most pressing challenges in the world around them. In the process, we are re-imagining education by reshaping how and where learning occurs. Public Workshop is nationally recognized for this work and has received particular acclaim for the playful neighborhood improvements that it has facilitated.

San Francisco-based KIDmob is a fiscally sponsored organization that seeks to transform learning at the intersection of kids, community, and design. We love inviting kids to physically change their world, and giving them the tools, support, and questions they need to do it. We recognize the power in creating something that has a positive impact on one’s community; we have seen that this is especially powerful for kids who are at an age of determining their self identity and self worth.

Community Outreach
The design and fabrication team will engage with Market Street’s residents, local businesses, and other users throughout the process, and particularly at four points: 
- They will conduct stakeholder interviews and some historical research on Market Street prior to any design work
- They will present their design proposals in a critique format prior to fabrication for feedback
- They will refine their designs based on the feedback they received, fabricate the project, and present the final product at the market street prototyping festival, with an invitation to experience and enjoy their work, and give feedback on how it could be further improved, and whether it meets the initially-stated needs. 
- We will invite attendees to participate in the continued prototyping and iteration of “Adaptive Playscapes”. The teenage artists who were originally involved in the project will be able to take on a leadership and teaching role with the involvement of the public. 

These interactions will be conducted in a couple of different ways. Targeted stakeholders will be invited to participate at these points, such as commuters, business owners, street vendors, tourists and kids.

Get Involved
If you like this idea, "me too" it to stay updated on it's progress. Feel free to share your insights in the "How can you help?" section. If you'd like to get involved with this project, let us know. You can fill out a volunteer form to help with the overall festival here.

Supporters All

Alan Joseph Williams
Luke Bornheimer
Raphael Sisa
Vincent Losanes
Sally Yee
Market Street Prototyping Festival
Sahiti Karempudi
Tyler Pew
Maria Judice
Kate Ganim
Josh Lee
Jen De Melo
Tee Parham


How can you help?

Lamp avatar
Sign in or sign up to share ideas and take action.

Groundplay: The evolution of tactical urbanism
Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 6:00pm - 9pm
Exploratorium Observatory, Pier 15 (RSVP required)

Introducing Groundplay -- join us in celebrating the launch of San Francisco Planning’s Groundplay program at the Exploratorium on March 22nd at 6pm as part of their Conversations About Landscape speaker series. Pavement to Parks is merging with Living Innovation Zones and the Market Street Prototyping Festival into one citywide program called Groundplay.

Panelists include Deborah Cullinan, CEO of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Katy Tang, San Francisco Supervisor for District 4, Shawn Lani, Studio Director of Studio for Public Spaces at Exploratorium, and will be moderated by Kay Cheng and Ilaria Salvadori of City Design Group, San Francisco Planning Department.

RSVP to attend:

Who Went?

Danielle Rose
Erik Schmitt
Hunter Franks
Sign in or sign up to add a reply.

Happy Hour Q&A
Wednesday, March 30, 2016, 4:00pm - 7:00pm
The Hall, 1028 Market Street, San Francisco, CA

Join us for a Happy Hour Q&A at The Hall! Come meet and mingle with the MSPF team and get a chance to discuss any questions you might have about your project submissions and ideas. The MSPF Open Call for new projects for our 2016 festival is open until Apr 15. We’ll also be joined by some of last year’s participants who can share their experiences. Bring your friends and prototype ideas and we’ll see you there!

Open Call info:

Who Went?

Sean Stevens
Tom K.
Market Street Prototyping Festival
Sign in or sign up to add a reply.
Market Street Prototyping Festival

Calling all Bay Area citizens! MSPF is now accepting new project applications for our 2016 festival! Do you have an idea to make Market Street a more vibrant public space? We want to hear about it, submissions accepted now thru Apr 15.

Share Link
Posted Mar 2, 2016
Sign in or sign up to add a reply.

Hey Coby, this KaBOOM! grant could be an additional source of funding for you (up to $50k):

Share Link
Posted Oct 2, 2015
Sign in or sign up to add a reply.
Market Street Prototyping Festival

Here's an in depth analysis of the 2015 festival from Gehl Studio San Francisco. "Makers on Market" summarizes key findings and insights from the Festival, identifies prototypes with potential of influencing the design of Market Street, and outlines a framework for using prototyping events as a way to engage members of the public in finding solutions to public challenges.

Share Link
Posted Sep 15, 2015
Oct 3, 2017

Updated link:

Posted by Dan on Oct 3, 2017
Sign in or sign up to add a reply.

MSPF Community Meeting: Select 10 projects for incubation
Thursday, September 3, 2015, 5:00pm - 7pm
Center for New Music, 55 Taylor Street, SF CA 94102

Our work depends on you! YBCA values our community partners as primary stakeholders as we evolve and grow together. We believe that nurturing and deepening mutually-beneficial relationships with community based organizations, nonprofits, schools, local businesses, artists and creative problem-solvers is key to our interdependent success.

Join us! Participate in the process to select the 10 most successful prototypes--emerging from the pilot festival--for incubation. Together, we will identify the most forward-thinking, diverse citizen-driven solutions for re-energizing Market Street.

You can see the projects that participated in the April 2015 festival here:

Who Went?

Tom K.
Market Street Prototyping Festival
Sign in or sign up to add a reply.
Market Street Prototyping Festival

Here are a few thoughts on the festival from the team at Neighborland -


Market Street Prototyping Festival — The Neighborland

Tens of thousands of people travel down Market Street in San Francisco every day. Most of us simply mind our own busines…

Share Link
Posted Jul 29, 2015
Sign in or sign up to add a reply.
Coby Unger

How to make your own:


Adaptive Playscapes

Adaptive Playscapes is a collaborative project between KIDMob, Public Workshop, California College of the Arts, and the Market Street Prototyping Fest...

Share Link
Posted Jul 28, 2015
Sign in or sign up to add a reply.

Market Street Prototyping Festival
Thursday, April 9, 2015, 9:00am
Market Street between Embarcedero and Van Ness

An open call for creative ways to improve Market Street yielded hundreds of submissions from citizens and organizations. Fifty of these submissions were chosen to create rough models, or “prototypes”, that demonstrate how their idea would work. From April 9th - 11th, Market Street will come alive with these ideas. Its wide sidewalks will be filled with temporary installations ranging from performances spaces, relaxation zones, dynamic art pieces, and more.

Come and walk the festival route, check out the installations, and tell us what you think. A selection of these designs will then move from prototype to reality, as part of our city’s Better Market Street initiative.

Who Went? (51)

Steven Kahlich
Susie McKinnon
Max Hawkins
Melody Villavicencio
Cheyenne Maples
Tom K.
Dan Sullivan
Alvin Shiu
Garen Gary Srapyan
Paul Pillitteri
Timber Valley
Galen Maloney
Maria Judice
Sign in or sign up to add a reply.
Market Street Prototyping Festival

Hey Public Workshop folks, we received this request today - can you post details on this page for others:

My son is completing the form to participate in the Adaptive Playscape events happening on March 7, 14 and 21. Where do we email the application form to? The deadline is fast approaching and we just got the application form today. Can you please help?

Share Link
Posted Jan 29, 2015
Kate Ganim
Kate Ganim
Jan 29, 2015

Of course! Interested students can either submit the hard copy to Mr. Salverda (SF Friends School) or Ms. Allen (Bessie Carmichael), or scan and email the completed form to

Thanks! Please help spread the word!

Posted by Kate Ganim on Jan 29, 2015
Sign in or sign up to add a reply.