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Zdeněk Lanc

We want Block by Block – a building block kit that records residents' visions for the future of their city in San Francisco.

Block by Block engages people off the street and asks them to participate in the city’s future on two levels. Firstly, passersby will be encouraged to make a wish for the city's Future by writing a note on a wood block. This note could be a wish, a dream, a problem solved, or a defining characteristic of the city now or in the future. Secondly the participant will be encouraged to consider the physical fabric of the city as they are prompted to place their wishing block, as if a scale model, on a platform painted with the city’s street grid. In placing their block they will have the choice to harmoniously add to what has come before, to be bold and different, to take a small part in a larger whole, or to stand out as unique.

Over the course of three days people will have the chance to interact with Block by Block as they wish, sometimes complying with the prompts and having a bite sized impact, and possibly ignoring the prompts to change the ‘city’ in larger than life ways. A hidden camera will be used to record the building block constructions, and the written notes will be compiled at the close of the project.

The setting for this playful experiment is a 10’ x 10’ wooden platform with two 10’ x 10’ walls. The two walls will be designed to imply the city’s skyline, and will contain the written prompts and tethered writing supplies. The platform’s floor surface will be painted with the city's street grid, and will be minimally raised from the surrounding ground. The Fair will open with a dense layer of precut wooden blocks arrayed on the platform, and end with a record of the city’s collective thoughts and dreams for the future.

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Tom K.



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I'd love to see this in Market Street Prototyping Festival this year - it was one of the most successful projects from Our City Oakland.

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Posted Mar 8, 2016
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