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Kaleidoscape Lecture at the Berkeley Art Museum

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Plan symmetry emerges, even during installation. Photo by Matthew Passmore.

[check out our previous post on this project]

Doors 5 PM / Matthew Passmore 6 PM / Galleries open until 9 PM

This Friday, as part of the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive “L@te Friday Night” series, Rebar principal and founder Matthew Passmore will discuss the design process for Kaleidoscape, a colorful sculpture and interactive modular furniture system. “It’s an interactive sculptural seating system, as well as a human-scale kaleidoscope,” Passmore says. He and other members of the design team will talk about Kaleidoscape as social furniture and how artwork can improve public space.

Remarks start at 6 PM, Friday July 26th at the Berkeley Art Museum and tickets are available online and at the door. General admission is $7 and free for BAM/PFA members and UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff.

Written by LaurenKlein

July 24th, 2013 at 2:48 pm

StoreFrontLab announces their year-long schedule of projects

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The StoreFrontLab, an exploration of storefronts as places of community, creativity and local industry, has recently announced a year-long series of curated installation at 337 Shotwell Street.  Works by Rebar family and friends Heather Smith, Kelly Gregory and Kristin Saunders will be featured in the exhibitions space.

Stay tuned for updates and join us at the opening on July 28, 2012, 5-9pm.


Written by Rebar

July 23rd, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Rebar is Hiring

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Rebar is hiring an Artist!


Rebar seeks an outstanding individual to join our growing team of professional artists and designers!

Rebar is a small and growing art and design studio located in San Francisco’s Mission District. Our projects occupy the intersection of art, design and ecology, but span many disciplines and often engage outside collaborators. Architecture, landscape and art practice are the core skillsets with which we approach the world. Though our image is often rightly associated with guerrilla tactics, we have developed a professional art and design studio that explores some of the most interesting projects in the contemporary urban landscape. Our clients include museums, public agencies, private companies, neighborhood groups, architects and developers and arts organizations.

Rebar’s ongoing art practice often involves a method of sampling and remixing, similar to the methods employed by DJs. Our artwork radically decontextualizes ordinary objects and materials as a strategy for exploring shared structures of cultural symbolism and to generate new forms of meaning. This conceptual approach has resulted in artworks rendered in a diverse variety of media, including earthworks, monumental steel sculpture and temporary performance installation.

Current Opening: Associate Artist (3-4 days/week contract position to start, with opportunity to become full-time employee)

To expand our art practice, we are seeking energetic and well-­rounded applicants who have a passion for artmaking and exceptional spatial/visual communication skills to turn art concepts into masterfully constructed artworks. The right candidate operates in the sweet spot of professionalism, confidence, imagination and a sense of humor.

Skills and Qualifications

• MFA/MID/Master’s Degree in industrial design, sculpture, architecture or other material-­based art practice
• 2+ years work experience in a professional art and/or design context
• Excellent ability to communicate and develop ideas through hand sketching
• Willingness to explore and expand Rebar’s conceptual approach to artmaking
• Fluency in 3D surface modeling program (Sketchup, Rhino) and solid modeling (Solidworks)
• Knowledge and ability to render (Maxwell, Vray, etc.) and compose professional presentations in Adobe CS
• Familiarity with current materials, products and finishes related to permanent artwork sited in public spaces
• Understanding of building and fabrication processes
• Understanding of standard design practices including professional communication, record keeping, etc.
• Knowledge of budgeting and project management procedures
• Experience managing others desirable but not required

3. How to Apply:

A) Download the PDF for the position here.

B) Submit all of the information requested in the PDF as directed

C) The position remains open until filled. No Phone calls please!

Rebar is an equal opportunity employer and does not select its job applicants or employees based upon race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability status.

Written by Matthew

July 16th, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Rebar Collaborates with the DC Office of Planning

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In April, Rebar teamed up with the Washington DC Office of Planning, the 14th Street Uptown Business Association, and curator Justine Topfer to participate in a citywide public art project, 5×5. Together we put on a series of events and activities to engage the community in generating design ideas for pubic space along the Central 14th Street NW Corridor.


At the intersection of 14th Street NW and Colorado Avenue, we tested out a future Colorado Art Plaza. The mockup incorporated a full-scale street painting, new planting beds, and moveable Bubbleware street furniture. Later in the day we ran a Community Design Charrette: a series of visualizing activities. Sharing our design process tools, participants offered feedback, sketched ideas, and built scaled model pieces.


DSC_4185a DSC_4184a DSC_4247a

In mid-June, Rebar will return to DC with a collection of temporary “test” furniture based on the conversations and feedback we received during this first visit. Rebar’s collaboration in DC intends to test out full-scale designs to see how they work before permanent investments are made.

Written by Rebar

May 10th, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Habitat Restoration on Año Nuevo Island

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A group from Rebar, Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge, and habitat restoration experts Go Native headed out to Año Nuevo Island on November 8th & 9th to finish work on the island for the fall 2011 season. We are excited to report that the habitat ridge on the island was finally completed!

habitat ridge

The ridge, which serves as a physical barrier for the California sea lions on the island as well as a blind for biologists studying the birds, now stands at six feet tall. Cormorants and other bird species make use of the ridge as nesting habitat because it provides excellent shade and a solid wind-break. The completed ridge will allow the birds to utilize their habitat without disturbance from the biologists and researchers who occasionally inhabit the island. The ridge is built out of all natural materials with no metal parts. Eucalyptus logs make up the wall and red cedar dowels were used to pin the logs together.

Aerial photo credit: Northern California Aerial Photography

Replanting of several species of native plants took place over the course of the fall and was also finished on the November 9th trip. We were happy to see the survival of several plant species from the previous year including yarrow, salt grass, and many more. We were able to supplement these with more native species including beach bur, salt grass, American dune grass, lizard-tail, coyote brush, beach morning glory, mock heather, beach strawberry, coast buckwheat, and dune tansey. Several species of seeds were also spread, among which were beach bur, yarrow, lizard-tail, coyote brush, mock heather, and Farallon weed.

Año plants

For more information about the Año Nuevo Island Restoration Project please visit the project site.

Written by Rebar

November 16th, 2011 at 11:33 am

Año Nuevo Island Restoration Project Update

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Work has begun once again on the Año Nuevo Island Restoration project! Rebar, in collaboration with Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge and expert habitat restorers GoNative, began prepping for Fall work on the island in early October. Last week the team moved 160 Eucalyptus logs out to the island. Local landowners were more than happy to allow the Eucalyptus on their land be removed and the Año Nuevo team was pleased to be able to repurpose this invasive species. These logs will be utilized in the construction of the last part of the habitat ridge. The ridge is itself thriving habitat for a number of bird species on the island, and it acts as both a physical and visual barrier between the habitat of the pinnepeds on the island and the Rhinoceros Auklet, a listed bird species of concern. Since the first planting last year, the indigenous flora on the island has done quite well; however, a small bit of replanting is also planned for this year to round out the restoration effort and to establish a long-lasting habitat for a healthy and biodiverse Año Nuevo Island.

For more info on the Año Nuevo Island restoration project look for our previous post or our even earlier post – and be sure to visit the restoration project blog.

Check out the below videos of the log move and look for future updates as the project continues!

Written by Rebar

October 25th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Bubbleware at Treasure Island Music Festival

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Rebar was delighted to provide some of our Bubbleware at the 2011 Treasure Island Music Festival, one of San Francisco’s premier music festivals. Bubbleware is a modular social furniture system that uses an inflatable interior structure covered by a sewn ripstop nylon skin. The skin, created in partnership with messenger bag company Timbuk2, is a durable material perfect for heavy-duty playtime. Bubbleware is rearrangeable and stackable, allowing for endless options and lots of fun. The design for Bubbleware was originally commissioned by Sydney Art and About’s Laneways exhibition, where Bubbleway (the Australian incarnation of the project) is currently on display at Bulletin Place through January 2012.

IMG_2808 - 1

bubbleware TI 3

Bubbleware provided a great perch for both relaxing and people-watching during the Treasure Island Music Festival.

bubbleware TI 1

Attendees of the festival enjoyed sitting, bouncing, lying, eating, sleeping, and lounging on the Bubbleware which was stationed around the festival. Some guests even brought the Bubbleware right up to the front of the crowd during the show!

bubbleware TI 2

Written by Rebar

October 25th, 2011 at 10:54 am

Año Nuevo Island Restoration Project Update

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In an earlier blog post we wrote extensively about our habitat restoration project on Año Nuevo Island. On the island – one of only a handful off the coast of California – Rebar collaborated with a broadly interdisciplinary team, including Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge, Año Nuevo State Reserve, Go Native, the artist Nathan Lynch and the California College of the Arts ENGAGE program. Our aim was to rehabilitate the habitat of the Rhinoceros Auklet, a state-listed species of concern. On the island, which resembled a ruin more than a state park when we first arrived, Rebar designed a set of ceramic nest modules for the Auklet, as well as a habitat ridge made from harvested eucalyptus logs that would separate sea lion habitat from Auklet habitat. The restoration project was supported by generous grants from the Luckenbach Council Trust and the Creative Work Fund and would not have been possible without the help of an army of skilled and dedicated volunteers. Thanks to you all!

Año Nuevo Island - before habitat restoration

The "central terrace" of Año Nuevo Island - before habitat restoration

The "central terrace" of Año Nuevo in April 2011

We are pleased to present this video update of the project, which – along with the photos above – shows how much the island has changed in six short months since we finished the restoration. The video was produced by Peck Euwer and Swell Pictures, Lloyd Fales and Michelle Hester. Enjoy the show!

Written by Matthew

August 16th, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Bandshell for Sale! (runs good)

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The world-renowned Panhandle Bandshell is for sale!

The Panhandle Bandshell is a full-scale performance stage made from reclaimed and repurposed materials, including 65 automobile hoods, obsolete computer circuit boards, reclaimed wood and recycled structural steel. Equal parts monumental sculpture and functional performance venue, the Bandshell has hosted a diverse range of community-based programs in city and national parks in San Francisco.


Also a visually arresting sculpture, the Bandshell illustrates the creative potential of recycling, repurposing and reuse, and promotes collective awareness of human impact on the environment. The Bandshell is well-pedigreed: it has won several design awards and has been displayed at some of the most prestigious architecture exhibitions in the world.


In the summer of 2007, the Bandshell was installed in San Francisco’s Panhandle Park, where it was open all summer for both impromptu and scheduled performances of all varieties. In the summer of 2009, the Bandshell was transported and re-installed at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center, the largest urban national park in the country, where it hosted community-based performance programs for more than a year.

Currently in storage, the Bandshell seeks an appropriate permanent home!

The Bandshell entertains at Fort Mason, San Francisco

The piece is award-winning and world famous! Exhibition and awards include:

2008 Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice, Italy
2008 American Institute of Architects, San Francisco, CA.
2009 National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA.
2009 Parsons School of Design, New York, NY.

2008 AIA Design Awards, Urban Design, Merit Award
2008 ASLA Professional Awards, N. Cal. Chapter, Merit Award
2009 ASLA Professional Awards, General Design, Honor Award


We are seeking proposal submissions from art galleries, city parks, community organizations, landowners and other interested parties.

For more information, please download the brochure [PDF].

The Submission deadline is Friday, June 17, 2011.


The Bandshell was designed and fabricated in San Francisco by The Finch Mob, Rebar, CMG Landscape Architecture and Scene 2 with the generous support of Black Rock Arts Foundation.

Written by Matthew

May 17th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Hayes Valley Farm named top 7 recycled architecture projects by Huffington Post

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The Hayes Valley Farm–a Rebar project created in collaboration with the SF Permaculture Guild and others–occupies an urban site where San Francisco’s Central Freeway once touched down. It’s been recognized alongside the High Line, the Tate Modernand Lima, Peru’s Ghost Train Park as among seven of the world’s best “recycled architecture” projects by the Huffington Post. Rebar has been busy finishing up the modular greenhouse, which is made from recycled scaffolding and water-filled highway barriers.

Written by Blaine

June 22nd, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Introducing City Grazing and Rebar-The Goat

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City Goats climb, chew and entertain.

City Goats climb, chew and entertain.

Along Cargo Way in southeastern San Francisco, a herd of 80 goats lives on a 10-acre site ringed by the SF Bay Railroad and a cement recycling plant.

City Grazing, the local “rent-a-goat” service, introduces an alternative to weed control and land restoration. Currently, the goat herd is outgrowing its existing shelter, which consists of a series of shipping containers and feed structures.

To accommodate herd growth, improve living conditions for the animals, and to make caring for them easier for their human guardians, Rebar has developed an economical solution that simultaneously references the shelter’s industrial location and uses a variety of repurposed, prefabricated materials. This efficient, low-impact accommodation will serve this herd of urban goats for many generations to come.

Proposed Shelter design includes re-purposed shipping container, K-rail highway separators and W-rail highway guardrails.

Proposed Shelter design includes re-purposed shipping container, K-rail highway separators and W-rail highway guardrails.

On Earth Day weekend  SFBR welcomed the new members into the herd and hosted a “Goat Naming” party. Few city goat representatives were sent to graze and entertain at Heron’s Head Park EcoCenter opening, where they got plenty of  love from the visitors. All black with a white stripe, one goat in particular was destined to represent the Rebar studio across the great goat-trodden lands of San Francisco.

Young Rebar is looking foward to new shelter and an abundance of sites to graze, plus plenty of play time with his buddies: Madonna, Lady Gaga, Spike, Frisco, Fudge, Noodle, Poopsie , Marshmallow and Columbo. If you see him out and about in the city, be sure to say hi.

For more pictures go to our Flickr Set.

All black with a white stripe this baby goat was destined to be Rebar's new mascot.

All black with a white stripe this baby goat was destined to be Rebar's new mascot.

David Gavrich talks about his herd.

David Gavrich talks about his herd.

Rebar is grazing at Heron's Head Park.

Rebar is grazing at Heron's Head Park.

Young fans get the goats back home at the end of the day.

Young fans get the goats back home at the end of the day.

Written by Rebar

April 27th, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Chile Tsunami Relief

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Our friends and collaborators at Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge are leading a relief effort for the small (and easily overlooked) Juan Fernandez Islands, off the coast of Chile. This chain of islands, where Oikonos conducts an ongoing habitat restoration project, was recently devastated by the tsunami that followed the utterly enormous Chile earthquake.

Yes, despite the prevailing presentation of events, there was a tsunami.

Isla Alejandro Selkirk, one of the Juan Fernandez chain

Isla Alejandro Selkirk, one of the Juan Fernandez chain

Robinson Crusoe Island experienced particularly intense and deadly devastation. A group of journalism students from Chile and the U.S., who visited that remote island, have produced a video that gives a window into the culture of the island and the destruction visited by the recent tsunami. You can watch the video below.

Oikonos has set up a relief fund for the Juan Fernandez Islands.You can donate by clicking here.

100% of donations go directly to on the ground island relief efforts.

Tsunami Relief for Robinson Crusoe Island from Más a Tierra on Vimeo.

And here is the post from the journalists:

“In the spring of 2006, as a combined group of American and Chilean journalism students, we traveled together to Robinson Crusoe Island, four hundred miles off the coast of Santiago, Chile, to document life on this small and isolated island.

In the ten days we spent recording and photographing the people of the island, each and every one of us was struck by their unique way of life and the resolve with which they carve out their existence in such a remote place, rich with history but severely lacking in resources that we often take for granted.

And so it was with great sorrow and shock – in the days following the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that shook the Chilean mainland in February 2010 – that we began to hear news trickle in about Robinson Crusoe Island.

According to reports, the island’s emergency warning system failed, and a giant tsunami took the residents by surprise, covering nearly two miles of the island and reaching 300 meters up from the natural coastline. When the ocean retreated, it took with it nearly all of San Juan Bautista, the coastal settlement that the island’s 650 residents call home.

What few community resources that served the people of Robinson Crusoe Island before the tsunami hit are now completely wiped away: the school, community center, fishing boats, supply stores… and many, many homes.

As you can tell from the stories and lives highlighted on this site, the fragile yet resilient community of Robinson Crusoe Island is a special place in this world, and its people need our help in rebuilding their lives. Anything you can give to help these families would be a tremendous help. Oikonos, a 501 c 3 non-profit, has set up a donation fund to directly support the people of Robinson Crusoe Island. All of the money they receive will go specifically to the people of the island, to rebuild their homes, their school and their livelihoods.

Please take a moment to do what you can, and explore this site to learn about the unique and wonderful lives you are helping to rebuild.

We thank you for your open hearts”

Relief Efforts

1. Donate to the cause. Please give what you can. Go straight to and send some tax deductible dollars. 100% of your donation goes to the island.

2. Spread the word. Email your friends, colleagues and family members. Twitter and Facebook the story. Many of you work at major news organizations. Use your connections to get this written about, blogged about and talked about. A little effort goes a long way.

Written by Matthew

March 6th, 2010 at 7:37 pm