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Workshop 11


BostonAPP/Lab Notes from April 30 2014

The recent, and important, Public Space Invitational (PSI) announced by Kris Carter and Michael Evans of the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics is a major contribution to a more robust and inclusive civic environment, with proposals that fulfill NUM’s request for initiatives that are “simple, intuitive, and literally awesome.” This is significant. But what’s next?


What/where/how are the new ways in which multiple stakeholders – artists, communities, agencies, hackers – can come together to increase the limits of what’s doable in cultivating public spaces? What technologies and resources can be brought to bear that expand and sustain participation in these efforts? How can we weave together physical, organizational, and community-based infrastructure from the outset? How can these kinds of efforts reflect a multi- faceted understanding of urban equity?


“Creators” included Nigel Jacob, co-chair, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics; Dan Sternof Beyer, co-founder, New American Public Art; Chrislene DeJean and Terry Marshall, co-founders, Intelligent Mischief; Lyre Calliope, Community Lead, Code for Boston; and Nate Smith, artist. We particularly want your participation and your ideas, leading to outcomes that will serve all stakeholders.


  • Private vs. public infrastructure

  • Liability

  • Need to know which hurdles an artist is going to face



  • City Hall Plaza as a site

  • “Lean urbanism" – align what you’re doing with something the city is having done



  • Spaces inactive; ergo, temporary public art/events

  • Increase the limits of the places in which you go

    • Physical limitations – electricity, Ethernet, structural connections

    • Need to have social framework: open-source blog

  • Define frameworks within our individual locales

    • Will see them as frameworks...utilizing what’s already there

  • Physical + social structure

    • Resources from both city, private realms, etc. – what’s not being used that could be used?

  • Artists’ contract!!



• Technology as a process...working together to achieve an end

• Effective civic impact – engagement with communities

• Art and infrastructure; art as infrastructure

• Create map showing all aspects of structure

• PSI: program than can be hacked

• Community can come and add more to the applications

• Way for community to come together and co-create proposals

• How are PSI submittals announced: community story-telling opportunities

• How can other organizations continue this to use PSI as anchor: inviting not only artists but other organizations


• Community structure: set up so that we can all use the space

• Looking for physical, virtual, social to come together

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