Last year was the inaugural Urban Prototyping (UP) Festival, which is a Gray Area Foundation for the Arts initiative. What exactly is urban prototyping? Easy. Watch the video. Not satisfied or don’t have much time to watch the video? Okay, I’ll try to offer a simple, straightforward answer. Urban Prototyping entails gathering artists, technologists, makers, or anyone interested in creating something useful, fun, and engaging for city dwellers as well as visitors and re-imagining the urban environment. From a heart-shaped device capturing your heartbeat and turning it into a musical composition to a street planter using bio filters (yes, urine in this case) to re-purpose waste material, Urban Prototyping re-envisions urban space, landscape, and experience.
By Dorothy R. Santos
Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina American writer, artist, and educator whose academic and research interests include feminist media histories, critical medical anthropology, technology, race, and ethics. She is a Ph.D. student in Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz as a Eugene V. Cota-Robles fellow. She received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts and holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco. Her work as been exhibited at Ars Electronica, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the GLBT Historical Society.
Her writing appears in art21, Art in America, Ars Technica, Hyperallergic, Rhizome, Vice Motherboard, and SF MOMA’s Open Space. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture. She is a co-founder of REFRESH, a politically-engaged art and curatorial collective and serves as the Executive Director for the Processing Foundation.View Archive →