Middle Ground | Reconsidering ourselves and others | Exploratorium Partnerships


This incredible partnership with the
Exploratorium is going to really make this the interactive space that we know it can be. The planning department was really proud to partner with the public library and the Exploratorium to bring this exhibit to the Civic Center. We’ve been doing this work in the Civic Center in a number of different forms in the last several years. We hope this project will really bring people to the area, bring a variety of people to the area, rekindle their interest in the Civic Center, and be a lesson for how we can redesign the space for the future. We’re very excited about the installation. We’ve been working with the Civic Center Commons and the Exploratorium for nearly a year and we think that it’s going to have a major impact on how people first encounter the main library and we expect that with an engaging installation like the Exploratorium Middle Ground here on Larkin, before people come into the library, they’re going to experience this really positive place, where people
can come together and talk about how we socialize and how we meet new people and learn from people. You’re standing in front of Pay it Forward Cafe. It’s zero waste coffee and it’s about building compassion. So you buy one, gift one. The interesting thing about this partnership, is that like any installation in public space, it has to be ready for it. You have to have a suite of partners all of which can contribute in their way to a greater whole. We partnered with the San Francisco Public Library, and we partnered with the Civic Center Commons initiative intended to improve the Civic Center and we partnered with Urban Alchemy, they do wondrous things in public spaces. They govern with a soft hand, they help people. They make everybody feel safe and
included and so combining the kinds of exhibits that we develop which are informal, fun and engaging with the kind of wisdom and insight that they bring. We couldn’t have done any of this without those partners, and over the course of the next year, I think we’re all looking to learn a lot from this experiment not only from the evaluation of the exhibition and talking to people about social sciences, but also about how to improve public spaces.

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