San Francisco

Small Infrastructures: Exhibition Opening and Holiday Gathering

Exhibition Opening


small structures on table

Photo by Quinn Gravier

In March 2021, the Biden Administration released the American Jobs Plan, earmarking $213 billion for “quality” and “affordable” housing, yet the bill lacks specificity on how houses are to be built. Here housing’s problem is split into two: a social one of accessibility and equity, and a material one of wood, metal and rocks. Architects can play a unique role in bridging abstract policy ambitions to real construction as these connections are made every day in practice. 

Although accessible housing has been cast in many forms, accessory dwelling units (ADUs) have been a catalyst for including architects in direct policy development. For the first time, cities are directly contracting with architects to provide designs for private property through pre-approved ADU programs. These programs reflect a plurality of ideas, though without rigorous consideration for how the costs of site work, labor, materials, and energy make quality housing sustainable.

Small Infrastructures is an exhibition of ADU designs that uses the economics of building assembly as the groundwork for experimentation, and addresses how cities can work with architects to build quality, affordable housing under the American Jobs Plan. Ten architects teaching at Harvard GSD and Berkeley CED consider the overlaps between academia, where cost is often external to conceptual work, and practice, where budgeting is an integral task. The architectural design of each office will be represented by two boards and a 3/8" = 1'-0" handmade architectural model.

Curated by Michelle Chang and Rudabeh Pakravan


*Whether you’re ready to mingle with the SPUR community or learn about cutting edge ADU designs, we invite you to come back to the SPUR Urban Center this holiday season and have a drink on us!

***New Activity*** Build your own gingerbread ADU with us and showcase your design skills inspired by the exhibition!

This event is copresented by AIASF



Free to the public

This event is sold out.

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