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DIY Urbanism: Testing the Grounds for Social Change

Exhibit design and curation at SPUR

Since the onset of the recession in 2008, San Francisco, like many American cities, has struggled through a period of economic decline and drastically reduced public resources. Fortunately for San Francisco, a city with a long history of entrepreneurship and social activism, citizens have displayed great wherewithal and ingenuity in the face of budgetary stalemates.  This has led to an outpouring of innovative “do-it-yourself” projects. From activating stalled construction sites, to constructing temporary public plazas and parks at street intersections, to designing pop-up storefronts, DIYers spark social change.

DIY Urbanism showcases some of these projects and provides a snapshot of this burgeoning and distinctively local movement.  Additionally, it explores the meeting grounds between the bottom-up approach of DIY urbanists and the traditional top-down planning process.

Understanding that passion, spontaneity and circumstance drive many urban DIY projects, Rebar set out to design an exhibit that would be at once playful and informative. DIY Urbanism draws attention to similarities, connections and convergences of thought present in the diverse array of projects and creators on display.

Date: September 7 – October 29, 2010
Location: SPUR Urban Center Gallery, San Francisco, CA