Ant Farm, Beyond Things Past [Mobile Ash-ram], 1971–1972 (detail); collection SFMOMA, gift of Chip Lord and Curtis Schreier; © Ant Farm


Power Play: Design and the City

Part of SFMOMA 101

Today, many urban designers are creating public spaces that are open, interactive, and engaging, such as the High Line in New York City and the new South Park renovation in San Francisco. Increasingly, play has become a strategy that designers use to prompt participation between residents, their environments, and each other. At the same time, urban landscapes in the Bay Area and beyond are being transformed by rapid development, with pressures to privatize, police, and speculate on space. Join SFMOMA for a series of talks and discussions with curators, architects, planners, and strategists that explore the role of play and the dynamics of power in illuminating the history, understanding the present, and determining the future of our sought-after public spaces.


February 21: Histories of Bay Area Urban Design

Robert Kett, curatorial assistant, architecture and design, SFMOMA

Benjamin Grant, urban design policy director, SPUR

February 28: Theories of Public Spaces

Walter Hood, professor of landscape architecture, environmental planning, and urban design, UC Berkeley

Susan Moffat, project director, UC Berkeley Global Urban Humanities Initiative

March 7: Prototyping the City

Liz Ogbu, principal, Studio O

Douglas Burnham, principal, Envelope A+D

March 14: Injecting Play

John Bela, director, Gehl Studio

Allison Arieff, editorial director, SPUR

March 21: Reinventing the Commons*

David Fletcher, landscape architect, Fletcher Studio

Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design, SFMOMA

*Please note that this class takes place offsite. Check back soon for details.