Pearl Street Block Party

The SFI! team was divided into four groups and given challenges on different ways they may engage the community and ask specific questions. One group was challenged to incorporate video, another asked to imagine ways people can interact kinetically with the prototype. After weeks of brainstorming, planning, and creating their prototypes, the four groups set the projects up at a block party in Chinatown North, hosted by Asian Arts Initiative.

The teams set up their prototypes in the heart of the block party.

Group 1 asked visitors to share their questions of the neighborhood or answer other questions already asked. In exchange, they could spin the prize wheel and win something crafted by one of the team members.

Group 2 had the task of gathering various definitions of the neighborhood’s boundaries, asking them to map the area on iPad and share what they call the neighborhood. Chinatown North goes by various names, such as Callowhill, Eraserhood, Trestletown, or the Loft District. Understanding the evolution and current state of the neighborhood is crucial for the SFI! team in understanding how the residents define their home area.

Group 3 used video to ask block party goers to share their own definitions of home by answering: “I know I’m home when…”.

Group 4 created an arch structure with hanging luggage tags, asking visitors to draw or write their journey of coming to the neighborhood.

All four groups had strong participation and learned valuable lessons from their first prototype. They will be making adjustments to their projects and testing them again, this time at the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission, one of the oldest homeless shelters in the city. This will provide an amazing opportunity for the SFI! team to gain new perspectives from a community that is often underrepresented in the neighborhood.


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