Past Exhibitions

Grand Reductions

10 diagrams that changed city planning
November 6, 2012 to February 27, 2013

Many of the ideas that most influenced the design of cities were first expressed through diagrams. These simple visual statements have become iconic distillations of values, policy agendas and ideologies — touchstones in the visual lexicon of urban planning and design. Grand Reductions investigates the visual culture and iconography of city planning and the impact, for better or worse, of these ideas on the shape of communities in the United States.

The Grand Reductions exhibition and publication was made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Admission: 

Exhibition is free to the public
 

Location: 

SPUR Urban Center Gallery
654 Mission Street,
San Francisco, CA 94105-4015
map >>

PUBLIC Works

October 22, 2012 to October 30, 2012

The design, quality and use of our public spaces may be the best measure of the success of our democracy, since it is in these spaces that most of us interact. SPUR and PUBLIC Bikes present an exhibition that examines the meaning and value of public spaces within our cities. Twenty-nine renowned designers explore the concept of “public” and the bicycle as a symbol of altering the way we connect with our urban world.

Co-presented by PUBLIC Bikes.

Admission: 

Exhibition is free to the public
 

Location: 

SPUR Urban Center Gallery
654 Mission Street,
San Francisco, CA 94105-4015
[ map ]

A Peek Behind Silicon Valley's Digital Veil

Seeking Silicon Valley
September 18, 2012 to October 18, 2012

Image credit: Flickr user dmourati

The name “Silicon Valley” usually evokes tech booms and electronic empires. But, Silicon Valley offers a depth beyond this that is frequently unseen. In partnership with ZERO1, SPUR and Hipstamatic invite you to go behind the digital veil with some of the Bay Area’s top photographers. Their interpretation of the theme of the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial, Seeking Silicon Valley, proposes that contemporary art practices can reimagine the idea, the place and the experience of Silicon Valley.


Co-presented by:

 

About the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial
Inviting more than 150 artists from over 13 countries, the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial presents work at the forefront of media art — collaborating with international cultural institutions and iconic Silicon Valley companies to showcase three months of Bay Area exhibitions, events and performances — in museums and galleries, in skywriting above San Francisco, in the streets and storefronts of Silicon Valley, on iPads and smartphones and across the internet.


To learn more visit:

 

Admission: 

Suggested donation $10 for SPUR members and general public.
 

Location: 

SPUR Urban Center Gallery
654 Mission Street,
San Francisco, CA 94105-4015
[ map ]

Surf's Up — For the Long Haul

Unveiling the Ocean Beach Master Plan
June 5, 2012 to August 30, 2012

Ocean Beach, one of the gems of the San Francisco landscape, is 3.5 miles of sand and rugged coastline that functions as a national park, a popular urban open space, a major infrastructure complex and a beloved landscape. But the beach faces severe erosion, complex jurisdictional challenges, a diverse population of users and the looming challenge of climate-related sea level rise. SPUR’s newest exhibition celebrates the Ocean Beach Master Plan, a targeted and sustainable long-term vision for Ocean Beach, addressing public access, environmental protection and infrastructure needs in an accessible, hands-on and interactive style.

Admission: 

Exhibition is free to the public
 

Location: 

SPUR Urban Center Gallery
654 Mission Street,
San Francisco, CA 94105-4015
[ map ]

San Francisco Processcapes

Reinventing Underutilized Sites in San Francisco
May 1, 2012 to May 24, 2012

Join SPUR for the opening of a new exhibition of design work developed by a group of UC Berkeley Master of Landscape Architecture students, under the direction of Professor Judith Stilgenbauer. The project sites — each the approximate area of a medium-sized urban park — explore site- and program-specific ways of combining time, process, ecology, and placemaking — ideas oftentimes considered to be divergent in the urban landscape. These speculative designs propose hybrid places that are dynamic and performative (problem-solving and/or productive), yet beautiful, usable and memorable.

Admission: 

Exhibition is free to the public
 

Location: 

SPUR Urban Center Gallery
654 Mission Street,
San Francisco, CA 94105-4015
[ map ]

Safe Enough to Stay

What will it take for San Franciscans to live safely in their homes after an earthquake?
February 6, 2012 to April 17, 2012

Damaged residences, Northridge Earthquake. Image courtesy of Jonathan Nourok.

When a major earthquake strikes the Bay Area, the lives of San Franciscans will be enormously disrupted, and it could take months to reestablish essential services. San Francisco has a limited number of emergency-shelter beds, and its capacity to provide interim housing after an earthquake is constrained due to low vacancy rates and minimal vacant land. Estimates show that only 75 percent of the city’s current housing stock will provide adequate shelter for residents after a large earthquake. This means San Francisco is at risk of losing its most important asset: its people.

We believe the city should take steps now to ensure that most of its residents can “shelter in place” — i.e., stay in their own homes while they are being repaired — after a major earthquake. Our research indicates that for San Francisco to avoid a slow and arduous recovery, 95 percent of its housing must be able to meet shelter-in-place standards.

During this exhibition, the SPUR Urban Center gallery will be transformed to a post-earthquake state. See what damages an earthquake might cause and discover what materials you would need to survive as you shelter in place in a San Francisco studio apartment. The exhibition will also feature a simulation of a neighborhood emergency center, which would provide essential services and information for residents who remain in their homes. Learn about SPUR’s recommendations to help San Francisco achieve shelter in place standards and become a truly resilient city.

The exhibition focuses on what steps can be taken now to ensure that homes are safe to occupy after an earthquake strikes. And what will it will take to make sure our housing is Safe Enough to Stay.

The Safe Enough to Stay exhibition is generously sponsored by ULI San Francisco.

 

 

Admission: 

This exhibition is free to the public.

Location: 

SPUR Urban Center Gallery
654 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-4015
map >>

Reclaim Market Street!

Temporary Urban Experiments in Creating New Public Spaces
September 5, 2011 to January 5, 2012

In 2015, Market Street will be remade as the culmination of a four-year public process called the Better Market Street Project. Reclaim Market Street!, created by the Studio for Urban Projects, augments this ongoing community program by staging a series of interventions that engage the public in changing the street. Accompanying these events is an exhibition at SPUR that provides context for these pilot projects.

The exhibition highlights the many ways in which cities, nationally and internationally, are engaged in reimagining their public spaces through experimental urban planning. Believing that artists can be provocative agents in helping us to reimagine our cities, the Studio for Urban Projects—in collaboration with artists, activists, designers and city officials—has created this project as a way of helping us to claim Market Street in this crucial moment.

Provocative national and international examples such as Paris’ Plages, Bogota’s Cyclovia, and New York’s Times Square pedestrian plaza will be illustrated with films, images, and descriptions connecting San Francisco to efforts around the world advocating for more livable streets. The exhibition will draw from Market Street’s history, citing ephemeral events that have shaped the spirit of the street and created the rich heritage it will draw from in the future.

The exhibition will be paired with a series of public events led by the Studio for Urban Projects and SPUR that engage the public in participating in the street’s potential futures. The exhibition will furnish the kit of parts for each participatory event. Collectively, these elements will create a program that aims to inspire the dialog shaping Market Street.


RELATED FREE PUBLIC PROGRAMS:

Register here for all events >>

Saturday, October 1, 11 am - 3 pm
Reclaim Market Street! Occupations of Market Street tour
A walking tour with Chris Carlsson amplifying the street as the stage for history, political dialogue and activism.
Location: Meet at Harry Bridges Plaza in front of the Ferry Building

 

Saturday, October 8, 12 - 5 pm
Reclaim Market Street! Sidewalk Intervention
Redefining the social life of Market Street through artists' interventions.
Location: Market Street, sites from UN Plaza to 5th Street

 

Saturday, October 15, 1 - 9 pm
Reclaim Market Street! Plaza Intervention
1 - 5 pm: play, 7 pm: film
By day the plaza will feature David Rockwell's Imagination Playground. By night the plaza will be transformed for a film screening with Melinda Stone, Rick Prelinger and Liz Keim.
Location: UN Plaza (Market Street between 7th & 8th Streets)

 

Saturday, October 22, 1 - 5 pm
Reclaim Market Street! Street Intervention
An inspired bike ride down Market Street with Rebar, the San Francisco Bike Coalition and the San Francisco Great Streets Project.
Location: Meet at Harry Bridges Plaza in front of the Ferry Building

 

Tuesday, November 15, 6 - 8 pm
Reclaim Market Street! William H. Whyte's The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces
Whyte's seminal 1980 film that presents witty and insightful views on what makes public space thrive.
Location: SPUR Urban Center (654 Mission Street)
Limited capacity, please RSVP.

 

Register here for all events >>

Admission: 

Exhibition is free to the public.
Donations appreciated.
Register here for all events >>
 

Location: 

SPUR Urban Center Gallery
654 Mission Street,
San Francisco, CA 94105-4015
[ map ]

STREET LIFE | YERBA BUENA a community design initiative

a road map for ten years of improvements to the streets, alleys, parks and plazas of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena district.
August 1, 2011 to August 23, 2011
image credit: CMG Landscape Architects

“STREET LIFE | YERBA BUENA: a community design initiative” will unveil a road map for ten years of improvements to the streets, alleys, parks and plazas of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena district. The exhibition, at the SPUR Urban Center Gallery, will introduce the recommendations of the Yerba Buena Street Life Plan, a community design initiative sponsored by the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District.

The exhibition’s August 2nd opening will feature the launch of San Francisco’s first parkmobiles, creating a temporary public space and a festive laboratory for city life in front of the Urban Center. Join your neighbors, Mayor Ed Lee, and other City officials for food trucks, free flowers, and urban innovations and learn about the future Yerba Buena.

CMG Landscape Architecture will present a unique perspective on public space and introduce the more than 35 projects that make up the Yerba Buena Street Life Plan. The Plan’s unique sensibility engages the public realm not as fixed and finished, but as an evolutionary process, becoming richer and more interesting through inhabitation, accruing texture and character through art, landscaping and spaces for city life.

Register for the opening party, exhibit and presentation at www.spur.org/tickets. The event is sponsored by the nonprofit Yerba Buena Community Benefit District (YBCBD), which works each day to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood.
 

Admission: 
ADMISSION
Exhibition is free to the public
Location: 
LOCATION
SPUR Urban Center Gallery
654 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-4015
[ map ]

Adapt! Climate Change Hits Home

What the Bay Area needs to do to prepare
May 17, 2011 to July 21, 2011

We have known about the perils of climate change for more than two decades. But global efforts to slow it down by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions have largely failed. Although we must do everything in our power to stop climate change, some of its impacts are now inevitable.  Climate change adaptation — preparing for heat waves, drought, and sea level rise — is now essential.

In this exhibition, SPUR surveys the likely impacts of climate change to the San Francisco Bay Area, which will worsen over the next 100 years and beyond.  We also recommend more than 30 adaptation strategies for minimizing our region’s vulnerabilities to the potentially catastrophic effects of uncontrolled global warming.

The exhibition is curated by SPUR’s Sustainable Development Policy Director, Laura Tam, based on the work of SPUR’s blue-ribbon task force on climate adaptation, and designed by Leon Yu.

Admission: 
ADMISSION
Exhibition is free to the public
 
Location: 
LOCATION
SPUR Urban Center Gallery
654 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-4015
[ map ]

Local Code: Real Estates

Digital techniques transform abandoned public land into a new urban ecology
March 14, 2011 to May 1, 2011

SPUR presents Local Code: Real Estates, an exhibition by Berkeley faculty Nicholas de Monchaux. His proposal uses geospatial analysis to identify thousands of publicly owned abandoned sites, imagining this distributed, vacant landscape as the basis for a new, green infrastructure. The exhibition includes more than two hundred models of proposed designs for leftover space in San Francisco, milled from abandoned lumber, each lasercut and etched to form part of a new landscape.

Local Code: Real Estates details de Monchaux’s vision for replenishing San Francisco’s 529 acres of “unaccepted streets,” leftover parcels whose presence tracks such pressing urban issues as pollution, impeded stormwater drainage and urban heat islands, as well as more intangible hazards like asthma, diabetes, and crime. Local Code’s quantifiable effects would eradicate the need for more expensive, yet invisible, infrastructural upgrades. In addition, the project proposes new forms of citizen participation to create a robust network of urban greenways with tangible benefits to the health and safety of every citizen.

Admission: 
ADMISSION
Exhibition is free to the public
 
Location: 
LOCATION
SPUR Urban Center Gallery
654 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-4015
[ map ]

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