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Erik Schmitt

18 neighbors want Street Sketch – a freestanding community chalkboard for art, ideas, and expression on Market Street.

The greatest strength of the region is its incredibly diversity. But the area can feel threatening and chaotic. Social interaction and bonding is difficult under the current conditions. We will create a sense of place that is welcoming, calm, and playful. The goal of this project is to contribute to the positive evolution of Market street by designing an oasis that will foster creative interactions among the area’s residents. 

The act of drawing is an inherent human activity, we all draw as children. What better way to spark positive interactions among the community than by tapping into this shared impulse?

To do this, we would utilize the 12 x 12 footprint by covering the majority of it in chalkboard. The core of the design would be a 12’ long, 8’ tall free standing wall. The sidewalk facing side of this structure will be the primary drawing surface. The other three sides will contain information about the project. This free standing wall would also create a barrier between the traffic along Market street and the chalk surfaces for drawing, which would generate a more welcoming sense of place and make the area more conducive to social interaction.

In order for the project to be successful within the constraints, the design must be functional, simple and doable. We are confident that our solution can be implemented and that it has the potential to be a valuable link in the series of projects to create a more inviting public space along Market Street.

Community input is key to any successful public project so our first steps would be to engage with locals in order to understand their needs and desires and the issues that concern them. Market Street does not exist in a vacuum, the population that borders the area uses it as an extension of their homes and has an intimate knowledge of it. We will tap into this in order to gain insight into the region. 

Once the prototype has been constructed, we will start user experience observations to test the success of our solution.

The project designers have been Bay Area residents for over 20 years and have focused much of their energy on working with San Francisco cultural institutions. This has given them many insights into the Market Street landscape which will be valuable as well.

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.

Supporters All

Market Street Prototyping Festival
Peter J. Sampson
Tammie Nakadilok
Aminah Ricks
Preston Hall
Steve Schmitt
Lorenz Ortiz
Jo Ko
Corinne Takara
Tom K.
Julio Martinez
Janice Echevarria
Amy Huang
Sam Bowden



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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
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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
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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.

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Posted Mar 2, 2016
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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.

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Posted Sep 15, 2015
Oct 3, 2017

Updated link:

Posted by Dan on Oct 3, 2017
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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
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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…

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Posted Jul 29, 2015
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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
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Market Street Prototyping Festival Design Charrette
Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 11:00am - 2pm
The Village, 969 Market Street, San Francisco, CA

Please join our 50 design teams as they share their latest designs on how to make Market Street a more connected and vibrant street. Share your insights with the project designers, and learn more about how to get engaged in the festival this April. We want to hear your feedback - it's important for our designers to understand what works and what doesn't work for residents. This event is free and open to the public.

Learn more -
More about the village at 969 Market -

Who Went?

Ashley Newton
Ruby Chen
Clare Hart-Slattery
Kristy Hilands
Jan 23, 2015

Thanks to all of the design teams for presenting your work in progress. I posted a few pictures here -

Posted by Dan on Jan 23, 2015
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Erik Schmitt

As one person said when offering feedback "Yes-But how to draw people in and encourage to interact?" We agree. How we pull people in and encourage them to participate will be key to the success of this project. This is our rough sketch of how we might engage with the public.

The text on the street side of the form reads:
Draw, doodle, invent, create, sketch. Be part of a tradition that dates back to 10,000 B.C. and that has deep roots in the Bay Area creative community. Express yourself on the flip side!

The text on the sides of the form reads:
San Francisco has always been home to people who just love to draw—muralists and street artists, as well as art world luminaries such as Ruth Asawa, Richard Serra, Viola Frey, Richard Diebenkorn, Raymond Saunders, and Andrew Schoultz. Join us here at Street Sketch and be a part of this great tradition.

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Posted Dec 29, 2014
Dec 30, 2014

Nice touch Erik - I dig this. Note that we're going to make image attachments clickable this week so people can see the full detail of these MSPF projects.

Posted by Dan on Dec 30, 2014
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