San Francisco, CA

In recent years, San Francisco has become emblematic of the difficulties of managing rapid urban growth in a culture entrenched in NIMBYism.

One of the challenges in providing new density to the city is that the image of the city, which is associated with its civic identity and tourism industry, is closely linked to a romantic vision of Victorian housing. 

This design-research exhibition explores the typology of the secondary unit and its interaction with the larger systems of a city to test how a diffused form of individual interiors creates new connections, power structures, cross-pollinization of public and private realms, and formal architectural mutations, in an attempt to understand the feedback systems between the individual unit of the interior and the collective framework of the city — in essence, how the interior can reformat urbanism from within.

The exhibition, hosted by the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) was co-presented by California College of the Arts, the San Francisco Planning Department and OpenScope Studio and was showcased in New York’s The Center for Architecture exhibition “Designing Affordability”.

All photographs courtesy of California College of the Arts and The Urban Works Agency.