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Middle Ground

A National Science Foundation grant to combine place-making with social psychology exhibits funded the creation of the Street Smarts project, but the San Francisco Civic Center site became the driving force in the design.  How do you create a safe space for a challenging topic (the study of us and the way we intersect with each other and the world) in a monumental gray and troubled neighborhood?  Add to that a complexity of jurisdictions that would leave your head spinning and a temporary (but two year long) install and you have the makings of a real challenge.

After investigating, sometimes fully designing, at least seven sites, we settled on the Larkin Street front porch of the San Francisco Public Library.  

Designed with the Exploratorium Studio for Public Space.