Good design can solve everyday problems. Join the brightest minds from the San Francisco design community as they present solutions to some of the city’s most pressing issues, selected by the urban leaders who can help launch them into action.
2014 challenge: How can a site-specific project demonstrate its impact at a larger urban scale?
Client: Urban Watershed Management Program, Wastewater Enterprise, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Design Team: Johanna Hoffman, Graduate of Environmental Planning and Landscape Architecture, UC Berkeley
Challenge 1: Playing in Traffic: what creative approaches can provide safety for pedestrians and bicyclist in auto-centric San Francisco?
- Challenger: San Francisco Bicycle Coalition | sfbike.org
- Designer: Jeremy Regenbogen, Macchiatto | macchiatto.com
Challenge 2: Rethinking urban play: how do we create urban spaces that are safe and inviting for children and conducive for adults to engage in recreation and play?
- Challenger: San Francisco Beautiful | sfbeautiful.org
- Design Team: Jennifer Brooks, NBW Landscape Architects
Challenge 3: Play with your food: how can design leverage San Francisco’s new urban agriculture ordinance to provide access to healthy food for underserved communities as well as address drought/water resiliency?
At the Center for Architecture + Design, we are passionate about cities, especially the one in which we live. As more people around the world move into urban environments, increasing attention has been placed on the functionality of the city—the way it works, where things are placed in it, and how it can work better as a unit.
Since 2009, CADSF has hosted this lively and popular event during the Architecture and the City Festival and has been supported through grants from the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) and LEF Foundation. This event, launched as part of a series developed by GOOD in 2008, was inspired in part by the resurgence of localized, urbanist action, and in part by knowing that local solutions can have global implications.
We connect local urban leaders/organizations with designers to tackle current urban challenges. We seek to create unconventional pairings (ie. a design consulting firm and the city’s emergency preparedness department) to generate innovative solutions to the challenges. We ask the question: what can be produced when a designer solves a problem outside their everyday design discipline?
The goal of this event is to demonstrate that:
- designers (of all disciplines) are large-scale problem solvers that should be tapped by local government, and
- big city problems can be solved by creative thinking that sometimes comes from outside government.
At a public forum, designers present their solution to the urban leader in front of a live audience. Afterwards, we have a Q&A with designer and the urban leader, followed by a few questions from the audience. The events often culminate in dynamic discussion and debate about the future of cities, and make for a great cocktail hour afterwards. In many cases, the event has also lead to partnerships between citizens, designers and urban leaders. Some past collaborations between designers and urban leaders have gone far beyond the event, working to make the solutions a reality!