Portable Parks Praised As Originator Of A Movement

Portable Parks and Bonnie Ora Sherk were recently cited and credited for the now popular Pop-up urbanism, or tactical urbanism as it’s sometimes called, in the Friday, February 24th national edition of Streetsblog Network.  Read article here:  Pop Up Urbanism: The Origin Of A Movement.

The author, Angie Schmitt, cites another article, Catching Up To 1970 from Pattern Cities, by Aurash Khawarzad with the quote:

Portable Park ll, June, 1970 – Otis & Duboce at Mission/Van Ness Offramp, San Francisco
"Most urbanists haven’t heard of Bonnie Ora Sherk. Most people capitalizing off of the resurgence of pop-up architecture probably haven’t heard of her either, but she is actually one of the pioneers of “tactical urbanism,” “spontaneous interventions,” and the other forms of unsanctioned public space activity that are extremely important in today’s discourse over how public space is used and allocated.

Her interventions, titled “Portable Architecture,” began in 1970 by essentially doing what’s now known as Park(ing) Day around strategic points in San Francisco. This incredibly prescient intervention foreshadowed a theme in urbanism that would gain widespread support 30 years later: the culture of DIY, combined with place-making in city streets.

Ms. Ora Sherk’s original Portable Architecture installations revealed the potential for artists, and public art, to inspire improvements to infrastructure, but they also revealed the weakness in not skillfully connecting public art projects with how public space plans are developed and implemented.

40 years later, we have a chance to capitalize on the vision of what Ms. Ora Sherk presented to us in 1970. But in the meantime, she is working with graduate students at the Otis College of Art and Design to create a new series of Portable Architecture. See a video for their successful Kickstarter campaign below."

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