Matthew Passmore


Matthew Passmore is an artist, urban explorer and public space advocate. With a background in philosophy, filmmaking and law, he brings a multidisciplinary approach to creating innovative cultural projects all over the world. Matthew was the original creative force that initiated Rebar and its first project, the Cabinet National Library, in 2004. He has generated the concepts for other well-known Rebar projects, including PARK(ing) Day, Street Life, EnCanment and Kaleidoscape. He currently directs Rebar’s public art program. Matthew studied philosophy and aesthetics at UCLA and law at the University of California, Hastings College of Law. He lectures at venues around the globe on the role of artistic experimentation in improving the quality of the public realm, and currently teaches at the San Francisco Art Institute.

email: matt [at]


Public Art & Design
Park(ing) Day
Cabinet National Library
Street Life
Año Nuevo Island Restoration

Selected Museum Exhibitions
Kaleidoscape, Berkeley Art Museum (2013-15)
Urbanauts, deYoung Museum, San Francisco, CA (2012-13)
Venice Architecture Biennale (2012)
Istanbul Design Biennale (2012)
Make It Louder Beijing, China (2012)
(Dis)Assembled, Roda Sten, Gothenburg, Sweden (2011)
Art & Aesthetics, Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece (2011)
Urbanition, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia (2011)
Actions: What You Can Do With the City, Graham Foundation, Chicago, IL. (2009)
Space is the Place, National College of Art & Design, Dublin, Ireland (2009)
Ecological Urbanism, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA (2009)
Into the Open: Positioning Practice, Parsons School of Design, New York, NY (2009)

Public Participation
Latham Square Plaza
Urban Prototyping Festival
Parklet How to Manual


2013 Visiting Faculty, San Francisco Art Institute
2010 Instructor, Interdisciplinary Design, California College of the Arts
2009 Instructor, Interdisciplinary Design, California College of the Arts

Awards & Fellowships
2012-13 deYoung Museum Artist Fellowship
2010 Creative Work Fund Grant
2009 LEF Foundation, project grant
2008 Black Rock Arts Foundation
Director’s Award
2007 San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Golden Wheel Annual Service Award

Selected Lectures & Symposia
Urban Explorers
, deYoung Museum, January 19, 2013.
Making Space
, Univ. of Pennsylvania (PennDesign), Philadelphia, Penn. Sept. 27-28, 2012.
City as Sculpture, Art & Aesthetics Symposium, Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece, June 5-6, 2011.
User-Generated Urbanism,
The Art, Technology and Culture Colloquium, U.C. Berkeley, Dec. 6, 2010.
Open Talk
, ExperimentaDesign Amsterdam, Sept. 20, 2008.
Mapping the City, deYoung Museum, San Francisco, June 30, 2007.