Over the last few years there has been no shortage of festivals and RFPs exploring themes of ‘urban hacking’. That said, every now and then a gem comes along. A hyper-organized call for proposals organized by San Francisco’s Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA) was recently launched and—with $25K in available funding—it is promising enough than anyone whose work broadly engages ‘the city’ and/or urban experience should at least look it over.
Taking place this fall, UP: San Francisco Festival (the ‘UP’ is for urban prototyping) will help gestate creative interventions and augmentations that treat “the public realm as a canvas” through the funding of several projects, an urban makeathon (Sept. 28th-30th) and culminate in a weekend-long street exposition (Oct 20-21). The call for projects has a few simple stipulations: projects must include both digital and physical components, be open source and documented, and be replicable and affordable (material stipends of up to $1,000 are available). Additionally, projects should be able to scale to integrate into “long-term city plans and policies” and be tailored to address the specific conditions of the UP:SF focus area (Fifth Street corridor from Market to Howard Streets, anchored by The 5M Project on the south and by Hallidie Plaza). See the call for the complete expectations and online entry form – note that proposals must be submitted the 11:59 PM PDT on August 20th.