Help Us Transform Market Street
The Exploratorium, San Francisco’s innovative museum of science and more, is taking its unique approach to learning onto the streets—specifically, onto Market Street, San Francisco’s central boulevard. The City of San Francisco is giving us the opportunity, via its new Living Innovation Zone initiative, to bring our exhibits into the community!
Please help us raise $75,000 to plan, design, and build this new addition to our civic landscape. Join our campaign and help create a new and vibrant public space on Market Street. Watch our progress on the ExploLIZ Tumblr site.
What are Living Innovation Zones?
Living Innovation Zones (LIZ) are new public spaces opening up throughout San Francisco that harness collaboration between the community, innovators, and the City to enhance the public good, foster learning and sharing, and showcase innovation. The LIZ program is a framework that allows groups to use city properties to prototype and demonstrate innovative solutions to improve the physical realm.
Why Market Street and where exactly?
This project is part of a larger City initiative called Make Your Market Street which aims to bring people, energy, activity and innovation to the sidewalks of Market Street. The City is also advancing the Better Market Street project to revitalize San Francisco's most important street and transform it into a more beautiful, lively, and efficient public thoroughfare.
What might it be?
The Exploratorium has been experimenting with outdoors installations that instrument and enliven public spaces and bring learning onto the streets. At this site on bustling Market Street, we're experimenting with innovative structures that will add seating, windbreaks, and visual interest. We're creating interactive exhibits in the Exploratorium style to entice passers-by to spend time observing their urban environment--and each other--more closely. We're working hard to invent a new kind of fun and enlightening public space. You can watch our progress on our Tumblr site.
Why the Exploratorium?Creating a cool space for hanging out and learning on Market Street is a pretty good reason to do this project, all by itself. But really, this is much bigger than one space on one street in San Francisco. The mission of the Exploratorium is to change the way the world learns. Lofty? Yes, but we’ve been doing it for over 40 years, creating interactive experiences with real phenomena that open people’s eyes and help them become happy, confident learners.
Recently we’ve moved outside the museum walls with exhibits at Fort Mason and around our new campus at Pier 15. The big new question we’re exploring is, if you give people our sort of learning experiences outside a place of learning, will they engage? What does it take to make learning part of everyday and every space, for a lifetime? The LIZ is a chance for us to test our ideas amidst the urban street bustle and see what flies. Given the national and global reach of our programs, what we discover has the potential to influence the field broadly.
It’s also a chance for the City to try out new ways of operating, new ways of using its public spaces for public good, and new forms of urban design. Living Innovation Zones not only showcase the city’s various innovations and innovators, they are themselves an exercise in innovation that could expand to other parts of the city, and to other cities.
Who else is involved?
In addition to the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation, we’re working with the city Planning Department and the architectural advisors for Better Market Street, Gehl Architects, a world renowned public space studio. We're also partnering with the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District (YBCBD) and local residents to help prototype and refine design ideas. Transportation Alternatives, with support from the Summit Foundation, provided funding to kick-off the exhibit design process.
Other ways you can help
To make our funding goal, we need additional help from you:
Participate! We launched our campaign on September 5th with a public Sketch-In event at the site where we solicited ideas for the new space. We look forward to hosting other public events where we share news and gather ideas and feedback.Spread the word! Tweet your thoughts on #ExploLIZ, Like the project on Facebook, and check out our Tumblr site for updates on the project.