Talking Public Space and Urban Intervention With San Francisco’s Rebar Studio
INHABITAT: How do you work with the public sector, since the work you do is a little bit different than other design studios? As a studio involved in public and urban spaces, how does community involvement play into your project designs?
MATT: Our work is deeply engaged in public space and concerned with the quality and variety of public space. We promote public participation as an important aspect of improving public space. When you work on projects like such as these, by definition, your partners are city agencies, government agencies, nonprofits, advocacy groups, and so forth.
INHABITAT: Have you found that to be challenging?
MATT: We have a great relationship with the City. They often move projects along more slowly than the private sector, which can occasionally be frustrating, but we’ve found that in San Francisco and many other cities, there are a lot of people in bureaucracy who understand contemporary urban issues and are working diligently and creatively to make cities better. They’re surprisingly open and interested in temporary interventions and guerilla tactics and community-based design as ways to achieve strategic planning objectives.
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