Urban Prototyping San Francisco: Design For Public Space Contest. Apply now!

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Calling designers, architects, artists, makers, coders, activists — lift your city UP! Do you see the public realm as a canvas? Do you have a design or technology project that could transform the way people experience the city? Bring your projects to life at San Francisco’s Urban Prototyping (UP) Festival – you’ll get a materials stipend, a downtown street exhibition, and a chance to change cities forever through your work.

Urban Prototyping (UP) Festival has just announced an open call for submissions. Urban Prototyping is a global movement exploring how participatory design, art, and technology can improve cities. Each UP Festival uses its own strategy to uniquely address that city’s specific circumstances – soliciting, testing, and deploying digital and physical projects with high potential for impact.

Design for Public Space

UP Festival is essentially a locative media festival that explores placetypes (alleys, benches, bike racks, billboards, bus stops, crosswalks, curbs, facades, fences, fire escapes, kiosks, manholes, newsstands, parking spaces, planters, sidewalks, stairs, streets, traffic lights, trash cans, trees, tunnels, vacant lots, walls, windows…you get the idea) as platforms for creative and civic intervention. Every project produced will be open source, publicly documented, and will be replicable in any city. UP Festival is being produced by GAFFTA and Intersection for the Arts in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation, IDEO, and Rebar, so you’ll be in good company.

Open Call: Submit a Proposal

Submit a proposal that takes one of these placetypes and transforms it into something useful and fun for urban citizens. Your work will, of course, be on display publicly the weekend of October 20th at the public exposition, where  two city blocks in downtown San Francisco. will be closed for the event.

Existing projects or ideas for new projects that fit within the themes of the UP Festival are being accepted via our Open Call Due August 20, 2012. You’ll get a materials stipend, a street exposition, and a chance to change cities everywhere. Submit Today


From September 28-30, 2012, we will host a weekend of rapidly prototyping new urban interventions. You and your team will have two full days to conceive and execute an idea, using digital and physical tools to improve urban space. You’ll get a materials stipend, and select teams will be showcased on the street at the UP: San Francisco Exposition. Ready to get your hands dirty? Apply now →


For two days in October, two blocks of downtown San Francisco will become a living laboratory of urban experiments. The exposition will demonstrate the full capability of citizens to re-imagine public space, and will attract thousands of attendees, locals and visitors alike. Projects created through the open call and the makeathon will be publicly showcased at the exposition in San Francisco, centered around 5th Street.

Follow UP on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Urban Prototyping Info + Brainstorm Session

Join the organizers Tuesday, August 14, 2012 from 6-9 PM for a meetup at Intersection for the Arts at 925 Mission Street between 4th & 5th. We will be hosting a Q&A / Happy Hour for UP participants to get more information about the schedule of events and how to bring their projects to life! Get all the details here!

SF is offering $25,000 in stipends to support new projects via the Open Call and Makeathon, culminating in the final Exposition.


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