The City and The City: Housing the Next 100,000

Exhibited at SPUR Urban Center, San Francisco, September 2016 — March 2017
Exhibited at Swing Gallery at Soongsil University and Citizen’s Hall at Seoul City Hall, Seoul, Korea, May 2017


For this exhibition produced by the CCA Urban Works Agency, Variable Projects provided design computation and fabrication consultation for the production of seven large-scale urban models. As data spatializations of the latent potential that lies within San Francisco's zoning code, these models visualize the "unbuilt city" of unexploited zoning envelope that exists over the city's built fabric. Each model represents the unused volume of allowable built area within a specific neighborhood in San Francisco. The bottom of each model indexes the city's unique terrain and maps the top of the existing built fabric of unbuilt lots, streets, and building rooftops; the top surface maps the extent of the zoning envelope. The models uncover the hidden potentialities of the city that we have, in order to speculate about the form of the city that we desire. 

Our role in realizing these models included developing custom scripts and parametric models that translated the topographic and zoning data into the volumetric, pixelated forms for each model. The scripts also output shop drawings and instructions for fabrication and assembly of each model.


Project Credits:
Curators & Exhibition Design: Antje Steinmuller & Chris Roach, Urban Works Agency, California College of the Arts
Design Computation: Variable Projects / Adam Marcus
Model Lead & Coordination: Julia Grinkrug
Co-sponsors: California College of the Arts, Urban Works Agency, San Francisco Planning Department
Photography: Jeffrey Maeshiro