In-situ triggers for civic engagement

There are many organizations and online communities that offer services to revitalize San Francisco neighborhoods. The information about them is usually spread via word of mouth or learned after a series of search queries from a motivated civilian try to do something for the community. The problem is that it is challenging for individuals to learn about these organizations and navigate their various protocols. Even further, it is difficult to take action exactly when the pain or inspiration arises.

This project explored mobile and tactile solutions for connecting individuals with existing organizations and online communities, enabling individuals to take action while on-the-go, the moment the need and motivation arise.

Project concept developed for the Leading by Design Fellowship Program at the California College of the Arts.

Rótulo [Sp]

Message or text that is placed in a public place and serves to give notice of a thing. This is a celebration of the many handmade 'rótulos' seen in Oaxaca.


I remember last year reading the exciting news about the city of San Francisco banning unsolicited phone books, and also plastic bags. The news circulated around the world and one could read about it in many places: CBSnews, no phone-books, no plastic bags.

This week, guess what I found at my doorstep? A phone book, really…!? Wrapped in a plastic bag. I did not request this, nor it seems the previous person living in this address… I did not need a plastic bag announcement to discover I could download the yp app… It seems easier to know that there is a mobile application, but not where to opt out from the phone book delivery. Now it is time to fill the opt out form.


A piece of Origami

Experience the streets of San Francisco through a pataphysical map of Paris… see the city through an alternative reality... where rubbish on the ground is a piece of origami...

Rubbish on the ground = a piece of origami

Rubbish on the ground = a piece of origami

Plane passing = a sky fart

Plane passing = a sky fart

This is a small glimpse to the 4 days of Carnivàle Pataphysique in San Francisco, co-curated by the great Peter Maravelis and the wonderful team at the City Lights Bookstore.  The carnival symbolically started on Nov. 1st,  the death day of the French writer Alfred Jarry (1873–1907), who defined pataphysics as "the science of imaginary solutions, which symbolically attributes the properties of objects, described by their virtuality, to their lineaments."

Big thank you to Julie and Peter for their kind invitation this weekend.  A true San Francisco experience! - By the way, if you want to discover more about about San Francisco's cultural production and history, you might be interested to check out the book: "Left in the Dark: Portraits of San Francisco Movie Theatres", by  R. A. McBride and Julie Lindow.


Back in October I had the joy to meet and team up with Peter @bromka and Jose @tumis at the ReRoute/SF hackathon. This was organized by the Hattery Labs.

Our concept: Neighbor-line! - At glance, on a daily basis, you would use Neighbour-line to get information about the bus transportation in San Francisco (e.g. schedule, location, routing, etc). However, while waiting at the corner for the bus, you would get the opportunity to read stories happening on your own commute line, stories from your neighbor riders. Neighbour-line would allow you to contribute your own short stories as well, and report something that was not (e.g. a broken window on the bus). Because, it is not only about filling reports, but also about follow up and getting it done. Neighbour-line would send the reports directly to the MUNI officers and from Neighbour-line you could follow up the status of your request. Having the window fixed would for sure improve your daily commute. On top of that, if your story or fix-request became popular by receiving a lot of stars from your fellow community riders, you would end up earning points towards adding more rides to your clipper card.

 I am sure you can tell that this concept was inspired by Neighborland ;-)