1. Just how digital or physical does my project need to be?
Projects must include both digital and physical components, ideally mixing the two in unique ways that uncover new possibilities. This does not preclude traditional urban design, but we challenge you to push beyond the established disciplinary boundaries. QR codes fixed on trees, sensor-laden street furniture, a mural accompanied by a time-lapse of its painting, or seed bombing documented on an interactive map would all fulfill this requirement in different ways.
2. What is the difference between the open call and the makeathon?
The open call is for projects that have been designed and are awaiting implementation. Submissions to the Open Call must be uploaded to the UP:SF website and will be given seed money if selected.
The makeathon is a condensed timeframe set aside for rapid prototyping. Participants will initiate and substantiate their projects during the makeathon. Successsful makeathon projects will be given seed money to complete the prototypes and ready them for exhibition within 2 weeks of the makeathon. Teams will be formed on Friday at the start of the makeathon. You can come with an idea or just show up.
3. Is the makeathon free?
The Makeathon is free and we will provide raw materials and access to fabrication equipment.
4. Can I apply for the makeathon with a team?
You can submit projects to the open call as a team, but you cannot apply as a team to attend the makeathon. Project teams will be formed at the Makeathon kickoff.
5. Can I apply for the makeathon by myself?
Yes! You may submit an open call proposal as an individual. As mentioned above, individual application is the only way to participate in the makeathon.
6. If we need the work of a skilled craftsman or technical consultant should we factor that into the budget?
The budget is intended to cover hard costs only. We will have free source materials available for the Makeathon and access to fabrication equipment through TechShop. If expert or consultant skill is unavoidable, build it into the materials costs of the budget.
7. If I have existing funding that overlaps with the project, can I use it in my intervention?
You may fund additional costs through crowd-souring or existing funding channels. Please contact us and provide us with more details.
8. What is a placetype?
For the purposes of UP, a placetype is a specified element of infrastrucuture that makes up the landscape of a city—(almost) any city. This includes everything from lightposts to trees to sidewalks to transit shelters. For a complete list of 40 UP placetypes, see the drop down menu on either application form. Projects must consider the type of place they will occupy (in addition to the physical UP:SF location) in order to best fulfill the requirement of replicability. Lessons learned from applying the projects around the world will be cataloged to help cities find and implement those that are most suitable for their local needs.
9. Can we occupy airspace?
Open Air is a specified placetype. You can extend this definition, but remember that you must be able to fabricate and installed all installations!
10. Can we design an intervention sited on rooftops?
This is an issue of replicability. If your team can engage a property owner, negotiate with, and gain access to a rooftop through your own initiative you can site the project there. You must provide a narrative explaining how you succeeded and providing future prototypers with strategies for success.
11. Can we plan to use both public and private spaces?
Yes. It is theoretically possible to locate a project in private space in San Francisco and other cities. If you choose to locate in private space it is your responsibility to make an unavoidably good case to the property owner/manager to do so. You must also detail the process and strategies of negotiation that you used to successfully site your project in privately owned space for future prototypers.
12. What power access will we have?
We strive for the interventions to be replicable in other cities; reliable power access is often a problem in public space. Plan for your project to be independent of the grid through solar, battery, or kinetic power. Depending on your project strategy, you may also choose to integrate your project with a private use to use their power supply.
13. How vandal-resistant should our interventions be? Should project hardening be factored into the budget?
The interventions are intended to be temporary prototypes. Once the idea gains support through the prototype, necessary engineering and refinement will undoubtedly yield a permanent installation. For example, there is a large difference between Re:Bar’s initial parking day installation and the permitted parklets now being installed throughout the city.
14. How mobile should the projects be? Do they have to be demountable or can they be assembled on site?
There is a two week interval between the Makeathon and the street festival. Projects will be securely stored during that interval; projects must be able to be transported to storage and back to the street for installation.
15. Do I need permission to build?
You do not need permission to build off-site, but you do need permission to install. If your project is selected, the UP team will help coordinate permissions and permits to exhibit your project.
16. Can we temporarily dismantle or modify existing infrastructure?
An accepted strategy would be to replicate the piece of existing infrastructure that you are interested in modifying.
17. To what degree should we plan for the project to live beyond UP:SF?
A major component of UP:SF is documentation. As you create the project, plan how you will document the assembly and process of installation so that people around the world will be able to replicate and build on your work. Please develop and realize a clear plan for instruction and documentation. After the close of the project UP:SF will provide global access to an open source library of documentation that you create.