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Friday, April 10, 2015

The Future Looks Weird at the Market Street Prototyping Festival (Slideshow)

Posted By on Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 12:32 PM

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If you’re wondering what the future holds for Market Street, you can bet that it holds a whole lot of plywood, and public participatory art works. After reporting on the well-connected event at the Rapha Cycle Club last November, previewing the Market Street Prototyping Festival, I thought I’d actually check out the real thing.

To be completely honest, I was surprised that there were no cycling projects to be found. Granted, the Market Street Prototyping Festival was allocated just the street’s sidewalks, rather than the roads. Here’s what you’ll see if you go in the next two days — and what you can expect from the future of Market Street.

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Admittedly, it was just like every time I’m on Market Street — I experienced some level of cognitive dissonance. But this festival took it to another level. I guess somebody pitching a modular public craft space while somebody’s snoozing in a sleeping bag a few feet away will do that. Nonetheless, some of these things could help doll up Market Street for others to enjoy. At least one prototype exhibitor – Houslets – was aimed directly at combating the city’s housing crisis.
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Even Houslets managed to see the conflict here — when they showed up to set up their affordable tiny house on Market Street early Thursday morning someone was sleeping in the spot that was reserved for them. 

Other than Houslets addressing the obvious lack of affordable housing (maybe affordable anything) in the Bay Area, almost every other prototyping exhibit addressed the pressing need for games, stuff to climb on, public art, and something called the Tenderloin Exertrail:

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About The Author

Leif Haven

Leif Haven

Leif Haven is a writer and cyclist living in the Bay Area. He can be spotted dragging himself up a hill — literally and metaphorically.

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