Architecture for Humanity - SF
Monday, October 31, 2005

This is a great collection of photos taken documenting the 'war on the sit,' the ANTI-SIT, assembled by Transfer. This is one niche of a whole vast landscape of 'anti-homeless design' that I have been documenting myself (see future article), but it is amazing the length people will go to prevent even the slightest allowance of homeless tolerance, even for a second. It's the mere thought, or really the mere sight of it that offends some people at this point, that they must attach a protective barrier to everything, a space that cannot be defined in the absence of a barrier, a ubiquitous urban barrier-context now orders every perceivable sphere of territorial real estate afforded in public space, down to the last park bench, the last block of sidewalk. Tiny fire-hydrants have their own personal castle-armor that will do them no good in the war on peeing. Young shrubs and trees look like soon-to-be baby victims of giant snapping bear traps, planter boxes that look and function now just like giant venus fly traps, and for all the homeless know they may even be giant snapping traps of some kind pretending to defend the dirt against errant cigarette butts or something. Imagine urban designers using biomimicry to hunt the homeless. Just look how these cellular telephone towers have been disguised. How have we come to microfit our sidewalks with such pathetic displays of a mini street-punk 'fortress architecture'? It is all confused now in a war on skating, a war on drugs, a war on the pigeons, a war on the homeless, a war on car stereos, a war on the activists, the cyclists, a war on trash, a war on anything not subject to total barrier control. These pictures glimpse the subliminal encroach of everyday eminent domain bursting at the seams of total absurdity and obscenity. These inanimate devices are the state's new heroic props for an emerging front on the 'war on terror,' the urbanization of homeless insurgency, homeless man as terrorist, mapping the nomadic migration patterns of man confined inside a massive city-wide anti-settling urban crawl space; constantly surveillanced, these poor flocks secretly feed the meter of a cartography of pre-emptive 'displacement by design'. A new meaning to the phrase "made-homeless" is gained, because here he is for every second of his wandering day an unbeknownst test-dummy for Homeland Security's anti-terrorist street upgrades. A free-to-roam wherever-he-pleases prisoner of perpetual eviction, where he has not even the freedom to take a rest anymore. No, rather he is only urged on by a meticulous army of situated barriers that prods him at every angle on his fall to the spiked asphalt. Such medieval architectural mounts are the literal bars of a postmodern carceral urbanism, a "street-side apartheid" where entire floating populations of "subversive and anti-patriotic" homeless networks struggle to carve out bunkers behind dumpsters now, where they can plot their maniacal strategies for finding food and a shelter each night in secret. "Fear the homeless man, 'cause he's no accidental terrorist!"

French authors Jean Rivière and Olivier Thomas describe it as "defensive space" or "Nuisible", the design aspects that define, or are defined by, a given mode of defensive space,a design rationale for absurd preventionism. Oh the irresistable design challenge of having to defend against something. A designer rash. Eventually we'll just have barriers for other barriers, an infinite run-away streetscape of micro-barriers, an entire landscape of insidious faux-fortress facade, landscape architetcure becomes barrier-scape architecture, instead of trees and grass we get iron cladding, bollards, concrete studs and spiked railings, the city covered in a retro-feudal wallpaper. Soon we'll all be part of an entire culture of barrier-challenged people, forever stuck behind our oh--so-clever barriers, forever making futher barriers there, just burrying ourselves in our brands and brands of new and improved hyper-barriers, we'll all be left stuck stagnant stupid staring at 'the spectacle of the barrier.' If not, then this is the greatest art project of all times.

Though these beautific barriers are hideous,

like tacky tourist lapels, our obsession with security becomes a totally grotesque iconic commodity, a kitschy way of tattooing the complexion of our public space with signs of authoritarian control. In which case that is the worst art project of all times. (via)

ALSO: The Design Philosophy Papers (DPP) Journal has a really good issue right now on homelessness and design, inspired by Maria Cecilia Loschiavo dos Santos’s work with and about homeless people’s communities in Sao Paulo. Check it out, lots of good reads.
Getting caught up on some SF Homeless News

Surplus Property, slowly but surely...

S.F. school district looks to surplus real estate for revenue
Three Years, 15 Sites, Not One Home
Big Victory for Homeless at Surplus Property Committee
Empty building spurs lively debate

State gets plan to house the homeless
S.F. group helping the poor to build their assets
Supe aims to find jobs for disabled, homeless Alioto-Pier fights for tax credits, similarly, Tax credits urged for "clean-tech" city firms
Mission condo project sparks debate
Mayor: Homeless plan having an impact, Advocates ‘Housing-First’ Policy for Homeless Families
Rally Against Homelessness: Family Time
More Newsom PR, and that's the extent of it.
Regional Plans to keep track of homeless people across the Bay, can government surveillance respect the privacy rights of the homeless without trouncing and evicting or jailing them all over the place? just take a look what's happening in LA.

Redevelopment in L.A. Affects Homeless Population
Dumping of Homeless Suspected Downtown : Sheriff's report tries to explain why homeless man dumped in downtown LA : LA TIMES Series: Life on the Streets SKID ROW

* BONUS News: Tokyo homeless get cleaner teeth thanks to one-woman campaign
Saturday, September 24, 2005

Juan snuck one of me the other night at the Prison Design Boycott Poster Competition discussion. (via)
Thursday, September 22, 2005
new STAND: 'Architecture For Humanity' Chicago competition

Healthy streetscapes are a critical element of the Chicago urban fabric. The daily ritual for many includes the human interface between reader and news vendor. While media evolves with the pace of technology, the tangible object we interact with continues to deteriorate. The utilitarian nature of the newsstand does little to realize its full potential as a design installation.

Entrants for this competition are called upon to submit newsstand designs that address:
a) making a small-scale architectural impact on the streetscape
b) the positive effects of community business on residents
c) the decline of demand for print media

The registration deadline is October 1, 2005, and the submission deadline is November 1, 2005. Finalists will be announced on February 1, 2006. The fee to enter is $35 for professionals; $15 for students. The jury is yet to be determined.

AFH Chicago is the Chicago chapter of Architecture for Humanity, an organization that promotes architectural and design solutions to global, social and humanitarian crises. AFH Chicago is community-based and works on a specifically local level. Their mission is to promote social responsibility and awareness through volunteerism that directly aids in community growth and sustainability.

For more information and a full competition brief, please e-mail afhchicago@gmail.com
Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Check out this forthcoming book, and the exhibit in NYC:

Safe: Design Takes on Risk

Edited and with Introduction by Paola Antonelli.~Essays by Phil Patton, Marie O'Mahony and Cameron Sinclair.

"Safety is an instinctive need that has guided human choices throughout history. Now more than ever, it has become not only a focus, but almost an obsession. Designers are trained to mediate between disruptive change and normalcy and can soothe people’s anxiety. When scientific revolutions happen, they translate them into objects that people can understand and use. Good design provides protection and security without sacrificing the need to innovate and invent. ~This book and the exhibition that it accompanies document the unique objects that designers have created to answer people’s needs, both physical and psychological. Physical objects include shelters for victims of disasters and homeless people, hideaway furniture, and personal armor and protective gear, while psychological objects include those that thwart identity theft, offer self-defense, and provide comforting reassurance.

The objects presented here reflect how good design goes hand-in-hand with personal needs. ~This book includes an introductory essay by Paola Antonelli, Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art in New York; an essay by Phil Patton on cars; another by Marie O’Mahony on materials and technologies; and a third by Cameron Sinclair on design for refugees and third-world facilities. The issues addressed by each of these authors will find resonance in people’s minds and souls." From Artbook.com
Monday, September 12, 2005
Prison Design Boycott: Poster Competition Announcement & Press Conference

09.15.05 6:00 pm

San Francisco, CA— Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) will present the winning entries in its Poster Design Competition for the Prison Design Boycott campaign Sept 15. The open competition, which has already attracted entries from across the country, is for a poster that describes why architects and others should refuse to design prisons. The winning entries will be both emotionally and graphically powerful. ADPSR will also present the first book from its publishing arm, New Village Press, A Beginner’s Guide to Community-Based Art. Among its profiles the book documents community art projects that challenge the prison system. A reception with light refreshments will begin at 6 PM, and a discussion with the selection panel will being at 6:30. The public is invited to attend.

Time: Thursday, September 15, 6-8 PM Location: Main Nave rear, California College of the Arts (CCA), 1111 Eighth Street, on the corner of Eighth and Irwin, San Francisco. http://www.cca.edu/about/directions.php The selection panel for the competition includes:

• Ray Beldner, Artist & Teacher • Rose Braz, Director, Critical Resistance
• Lisa Findley, Professor of Architecture, CCA
• Michael Marcum, Deputy Sheriff (retired), San Francisco Sheriff’s Department
• Raphael Sperry, Architect, President of ADPSR
• Jennifer Sterling, Professor of Graphic Design, CCA
• Donna Willmott, Family Advocacy Coordinator, Legal Services for
Prisoners with Children

To learn about the Prison Design Boycott, visit: www.adpsr.org/prisons and sign our pledge online.
Poster competition information: www.adpsr.org/prisons/poster
More information about ADPSR:

Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility is a national non-profit founded in 1983 dedicated to the involvement of achitects, designers, and plannes in issues of peace and social justice. www.adpsr.org

Wednesday, September 07, 2005
The San Francisco Green Party Housing and Land Use Working Group Presents:

Isn't It About Time For Green Design?

Monday, September 12th, 7 - 9 pm
First Baptist Church
7 Octavia Blvd, at Market St.
(accessible entrance on Waller St.)

The green in green design is a debatable term. Green design could describe the use of recycled building materials, natural lighting and ventilation, or the incorporation of advanced technology. Often it is criticized as prohibitively expensive.

At this seminar our panelists will discuss the meaning of green design, its affordability, and existing certifications/standards, while considering what other cities are doing, what San Francisco's recent projects are and it's plans to build greener buildings.


Raphael Sperry is an architect at 450 Architects in San Francisco and current President of Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility. He designs residential and school projects, and leads ADPSR's Prison Design Boycott campaign. In 2005 he was appointed as the public member of the City of San Francisco's municipal Green Building Task Force. In 2004 He was the lead author of the San Mateo County Guide to Sustainable Buildings. As the Project Manager for Berkeley's Best Builders, the City of Berkeley's first green building program, Raphael developed a network of expert consultants in fields including energy efficiency, green materials, solar power, etc. While earning his masters degree from the Yale School of Architecture he assisted with the creation and teaching of green building classes.

Erin Carson is Senior Project Manager of the Public Initiatives Development Corporation, a non-profit public benefit housing development corporation and a subsidiary of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency. Erin has nearly 15 years of experience in housing development both in affordable and market rate housing and has a particular interest in green and sustainable design and development. Erin is currently working on a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) registered multi-family affordable housing development in San Francisco. Erin is a LEED Accredited Professional and member of the United States Green Building Council and its Northern California Chapter.

Mark Palmer is San Francisco's Municipal Green Building Coordinator. During his thirty years in the construction industry, he has directed environmental design for a major homebuilder, initiated a renewable energy portfolio for utilities, and founded an innovative green building consultancy. Mark develops city policy for sustainable design and construction--LEED Silver is now the standard for all municipal construction projects in San Francisco. Mark also administers a training program for city design professionals, and oversees a growing number of municipal construction projects including the new California Academy of Sciences slated for a LEED Platinum certification and the redevelopment of Treasure Island, a mixed-use pedestrian and transit-oriented community.

About the Housing and Land Use Seminar Series:

This is the tenth seminar in an ongoing series on housing and land use issues hosted by the San Francisco Green Party, currently being held on the second Monday of the month at First Baptist Church, organized by the Green Party Housing and Land Use working group. These workshops are a great opportunity to educate yourself, share your thoughts and get involved with local advocacy groups trying to create a better San Francisco.

For more information about the Green Party Housing and Land Use working group, go to the SF Green Party website (www.sfgreenparty.org) and choose the Working Groups link.

Contact: HLU Co-chairs Jennifer Donlon at junipers_hill(at)yahoo.com or David Wilbur at drwsf(at)yahoo.com for additional seminar details.

The seminars are free and open to the public.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Here are some reads and comments on SF Homlessness. I am reading some reports from the SF COH nd will report on those findings soon.

SF HOMELESS BUDGET 2005 - 2006 $136 million: 60% svcs & 40% housing

Daly bog.. Speak up for Good Homeless Policy

Daly blog... Progressives Should Re-Double Opposition to Care Not
Cash http://www.chrisdaly.org/site/bdsupvrs_page.asp?id=31665

Bush's Chronic Homeless Plan Imperils the Safety Net - Paul Boden Op
ed http://www.thestreetspirit.org/June%202005/chronic.htm

City Vision Radio Program: Homelessness in San Francisco: Is there a
solution? (2 parts, scroll down)

- Paul Boden and Rachel Brahinsky make a great point about Project Connect (http://projecthomelessconnect.org/) : first Daly claims the program was never outlined in the 10 year plan or Continuum of Care, but A Alioto claims it was unde another name. Rachel makes the case that it is all media stunt, time and place for Newsom to wash feet and get credit for bringing in new volunteers and provide
services. Boden says outright we don't need 2000 outreach volunteers in this small city for this task, their real energy would be better applied towards mobilizing against the federal cut backs and voicing or taking action there instead.

- Rachel claims it actually takes about 2 people's cuts in GA to use to afford housing 1 person, that since the funding was never there to really sustain CNC on its own, ultimately the poor are paying double the price for Newsom's selective success.

- people are waiting in shelters on CNC for 8 months, without any tracking system or feedback to let these people know where they are in line or what progress if any is being made.

- people on CNC can reserve space in shelters and not show up, making shelter space scarce, contested, and in the end go unused. this is creating a huge shelter management problem.

- people who are willing to sign up for CNC and go for housing through Newsom's outreach and project connect are getting a huge cut in line over others waiting for months via the normal channels. what message is the Mayor sending to the homeless community at large when he gives a set of new housing keys to someone he just approached on the streets and convinced to sign up for CNC? how is the system being fair at that point?

- major service money (McKinney -
http://www.chrisdaly.org/site/bdsupvrs_page.asp?id=31250) is being cut to focus on the visibly chronically homeless, that kind of lopsided hyper focus on one sector is causing a worse burden on the other sectors, and is easily argued by critics a program designed only to produce the most visible results possible, disregarding effects on other homeless and long term impact.

- CNC works with the larger federal cuts in city budgets and HUD monies, rather than helping to hold the feds accountable for these cuts. The problem can never be solved until fed money is engaging local municipalities to fight homelessness, otherwise it just becomes a divisive war of competing local programs, fighting for scraps with each new administration ... you coudl say CNC is working with what we've got and is crafty that way. But critics argue this new system in jsut moving deck chairs on the titanic.

- look at the short term and trying to fairly predict the long term causes of new homeless numbers as a result of CNC, families and seniors and children are fastest growing sector of homeless in our city, immigrants are also increasing at alarming rate (partly b/c of new border issues and Gov's stance), and new Iraq war veterans are seen as being the next immediate boom in our national homeless population. Report, City's Hidden Homeless

- how do we work towards creating a more integrated and comprehensive homeless policy with limited federal funds, and without eating ourselves up? The feds are well aware of the impacts on cities by cutting these funds, let's not let the conservative agenda at Washington pit the left coast alliance of liberals and
progressives against one another in these types of battles. The real focus should be a unified front of criticism at the State level too about holding the feds accountable.

- what if the city declared a state of emergency in terms of housing crisis, might that be a creative backdoor into going after some federal funding? probably not, but i think we need to be creative in battling the fed cutbacks, and demanding more.

http://www.sfbayview.com/042705/newbill042705.shtml New bill would kill Section 8 housing program

- how do we get the federal Dept of Labor, Social Security Admin, and HUD to engage more directly in local fights against homelessness? We have lost their commitment to fighting poverty & creating affordable housing. That is the core of our ability to effect the problem/solution? Is Newsom taking the right stand against these fed cut backs, or is his political knack only making it easier for him to work with them and in a sense let them off the hook?

- How to pursue "housing first" without sacrificing the services needed all around? It is a tricky housing and social problem, but neither side can claim credit for solving homelessness, nor pass the problem to the other sector. there has to be cooperation, and CNC has not really created that bridge with the strong progressive roots of homeless advocacy that was scene as a model for the nation 15 or 20 years ago.

- if taxpayers aren't willing to pay more taxes, or support a new bond, what other funding is left to tap? maybe prop 63?

- can we face the reality that even in a shelter $59 is not enough for some homeless populations, small families to survive? doesn't that just ratchet up the need to panhandle, doesnt that then just serve the city in criminalizing that behavior?

- how can we urge MOH and the BOS to develop housing per the Surplus Property Ordinance and identify new parcels? How can we direct a stream of funding for this automatically, knowing no help will come from MOH or REDEV?

- ultimately, it is the struggle to hold federal spending responsible for helping cities to combat the roots of poverty as well as provide them with adequate housing and services, so why can't the tribes unite around that? Newsom's pragmatism may have placed 805 people in housing, but there is great concern about the longer term effects of CNC, and how many people may be made homeless as a result of CNC, backfilling or backlash whatever you want to call it.

- also, there has been no evidence to support the Newsom claim that the 1000 GA enrollees who dropped off as a result of CNC were just out of district freeloaders, a number critics say has ambiguously been used to spin more success. there is now an investigation into determining how many indeed were just freeloaders versus how many have simply chosen not sign up for only $59 of GA now, especially given the hassle CNC may also cause.

- as easy as it is for some CNC registers to get housing immediately, the reality is many are deep and stuck in the trenches of shelter life, and the run around in application and placement process delays, there are a lot of jams caused by CNC.

- this recent hearing really gets at the war that has been set up between the long time services community here and the new CNC gang over funding, http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=8 APRIL 18 2005

Beyondchron article on that same hearing

The National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness (Paul Boden
head of Wester Regional Advocacy Program is on the board. Good
stuff here) http://www.npach.org/

And this guy,Dennis P. Culhane from UPENN (
http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/cmhpsr/directory/Dennis_homepage.htm), is being credited with a lot of the research that the the Newsom homeless administration and guys like Dariush Kayhan, director, Housing and Homeless Programs, San Francisco Department of Human Services are crediting for the strategy of their homeless policy.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Busy working on comp entry, but here are a few links...

SF HLU news

Action Near on New Affordable Housing Law :: How Elites Are Reshaping San Francisco Politics :: Progressives Should Re-Double Opposition to Care Not Cash :: New bill would kill Section 8 housing program :: Chance Martin's Blog :: SF, an Ephemeral City? :: Paula Levine: Baghdad - SF


Over the Rhine :: best Hassan Fathy site :: Of Base and Buildings... :: Designing Palestine :: Disguising the Fortress :: Engaging Urbanization in Africa :: Giving a Damn and Getting Credit for It

The Prison Issue

Here is an interview I did with Raphael Sperry (ADPSR) about the Prison Design Boycott. De:constructing Recidivism : the chron, Archrecord, Archvoices, and responses... :: Spying on the government :: my prison links
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Read this article in Beyon Chron as well: Section 8 Cuts could displace thousands.
Saturday, April 30, 2005
Tommi Mecca & Sara Shortt Update on the Threats to Section 8

Here's an urgent message from my co-worker, Sara Shortt, who is working to save Section 8. What's happening right now is that the feds have lowered the payment standard so that for example, with a $1600 one-bedroom, HUD will only pay $1300 for it now. The tenant HAS TO MAKE UP THE $300 DIFFERENCE. Every tenant with a voucher in SF (over 7,300 vouchers!) will get a rent increase this year, anywhere from about $100-400/mo. People on Section 8 canNOT afford these increases. If landlords do not agree to lower the rent down to the new standard or the tenant does not find another place to live, they will end up on the streets or displaced from the city. At this point, thanks to Sara's efforts, Park Merced has agreed to lower the rents for its 160 or so tenants on vouchers. The Board of Supes is holding a hearing to look into this matter...below is info from Sara...

Help save SF's Section 8 Housing!

*We need testimony from tenants and advocates at Monday's Board ofsupervisors Section 8 hearing at 1pm at City Hall. Please attend if you canand encourage others as well. Talking points are below. If you can notattend, please email, write or call your supervisors to let them hear yourthoughts on the issue.
*Listen to KPFA story on Section 8 in SF at :http://www.kpfa.org/archives/archives.php?id=24 (See April 26th and click on"listen")
*See chron article athttp://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/04/18/BAG7KCAJHS1.DTL
*Get more info on the status of the Federal Budget at www.cbpp.org

SF Section 8 Cuts -
Talking Points

- We can no longer rely on federal housing funds. Housing for the poor mustbe a priority of local government.
-Any planning or implementation of efforts to end homelessness shouldincorporate solutions to the loss of Section 8 housing. Otherwise, peoplewith homes become homeless, as the city puts others from the streets intohousing.
-Housing development planning and funding should include housing options forthe poorest: $15,000 annual income (average Section 8 tenant income).
-Board should work with Congressional Delegation to fight for full fundingof Section 8 program.
- Do not allow further "ghettoization" of SF. S8 rent increases mean thattenants (who are 72% people of color) will be forced to areas where povertyis already concentrated and which have high crime, less services andsubstandard housing.
- City must expand services to soften the blow on impacted tenants:relocation assistance, housing placement, etc.
-Program cuts mean exodus of families from SF. 2BR units and higher areextremely scarce within the city limits. Families will be forced to leavethe city.

Key Facts about Section 8 Cuts

*50% voucher holders are seniors or disabled. 72% are people of color.
*5,000 famliies will be impacted by rent increases this year. Increasesaverage between $100-$400.
*Housing Authority assistance went down by 13%-16% this year for eachtenant. 2 bedroom was $1775 last year. This year is $1539.
*The Housing Authority has been cut by $5.7 million dollars in 2005. The2006 budget will result in a loss of 300 vouchers.
*25,000 families are currently on the S8 waiting list in SF.
*Average 2 bedroom market-rate rent is $2,323.

Sara Shortt
Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco
427 South Van Ness
San Francisco, CA 94103415-703-8634
Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Coalition is planning a rally for Thursday may 3rd, the 1st anniversary of Care Not Cash. While Newsom has microfocused on the issue of homeless and brought some supportive housing online, many homeless people feel more negatively affected by CNC now than before it was instituted. Read Daly’s latest blog entries. If you know anyone who has been more excluded from care as a result of CNC, send them down on Thursday at 3pm 468 Turk to help plan.

UoW architecture students are working with the administration to formerly accommodate Tent City 3 on to their campus. Check out this school blog on archinect by Yamani Hernandez. I’m trying to get more details, but I think it is awesome to see the students be the impetus for this, and they are building structures to help draw more attention to the issue. Regardless of how sustainable you make Tent City, how sustainable is it , really?

There is a CAC meeting for the Surplus Property Initiative on Monday I will be attending with the Land & Liberty Coalition. If interested in building low income housing they will be giving a small presentation and overview.

Sam Davis will be at SPUR on 04.20 12:30 to talk about his book Designing for the Homeless.

SFGP Transportation WG screening of The End of SUBURBIA 04.27 7pm


The city just shut down a contentious TIC condo conversion proposal that would have specially grandfathered in a long clog in the pipes dictated by a 200 per year lottery. TIC are a pressure point for a failed system of generating affordable housing for middle income first time homeowners. Feeding that pipe only surges the seeds of that problem deeper into the system, and eats off the only viable affordability gauge in this city: rent control. Efforts should be put into forcing new housing to be built, rather than feeding the needle again.

The city is thinking about doubling the amount developers would be require to build affordable housing via the Inclusionary Housing Act, and before they forget, or lose steam , or don’t get it done, they should do it asaps. But is doubling it even enough? Recent projects point to higher percentages negotiated. Some say 50% would be appropriate. And Leno’s Ellis Eviction Act amendment is whirling overhead. The city needs to be aggressive in protecting the lower class, and also allowing viable avenues for the middle glass to grow that don’t fiend off those resources left at all to insure a door of affordability here. We are being pimped out for foreign investment and enrtreprenurial vacancy. Instead we’re building a new Death Row for San Quentin, giving away land to developers at Hunters Point, missing out on affordability in the new Mid Market Redev Plan, potentially forfeiting our SRO’s to market rate exploit….but hey, look what locals can do now to monitor their parks. The irony may be that once private developers have consumed most of the land, the rest of us may all end up in some strange renter space like this one, where homes are not affordable at all anymore, and we are forced to rent out space through whatever means the market constitutes. Maybe the definition of squatter will be re examined, those without land we will be made into homeless renters of contested urban space, institutionally evicted from one left over shelter option to another lesser kind shelter option, our salaries will be turned into subsidies forced down our throats, only be to collected again from us for having no other option but to occupy our little cardboard boxes. This city is becoming an even finer grade machine for dissecting displacement. But it is not enough to vote down the TIC conversion condo bill, they must address these pressure points that keep the voodoo trickle down housing benefits squashed out from the top, the developers only use the starving middle class as a buffer to just de-house the poor.

Where have the homeless gone? The city, it turns out, has absolutely no idea
– Just clean up the streets and pinch the poor harder than they can afford to raise money…
Bay Area rocket to new highs
California wants new houses, bubble or not

In Other News….Check this batch of recent postings I made to Archinect you should find interesting.

Refugee Urbanism
Homelessness increasing all over the world
The Growing Urbanization of the World
Ban Accepts the 40th Annual Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture

The Midnight Mission
Launching The 1% Solution

National AIDS Memorial Winner Announced
Bush to Cities
At the Border...
stroll Along the Border...
Beyond the Trailer Park
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Don't forget tonight:

Lecture: Designing for the Homeless: Architecture That Works
05:30 pm

PMAIA San Francisco, 130 Sutter Street, Suite 600, San Francisco

Sam Davis, author of Designing for the Homeless: Architecture That Works (University of California Press), talks about how to create well-designed places for the homeless and reviews innovative and successful building designs that now serve diverse communities across the United States.

Davis is an architect who has been designing and building affordable housing for thirty years. His book Designing for the Homeless: Architecture That Works argues for safe and functional architectural designs and programs that symbolically reintegrate the homeless into society in buildings that offer beauty, security, and hope to those most in need.

If you didnt RSVP, it might be too late.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Some Events Not To Be Missed . . .

An Office Party to Benefit ADPSR's Prison Design Boycott
2005/03/23 06:00 pm Wednesday, March 23, 2005, 6-7:30 PM. Presentation starts at 6:30. *(Please RSVP: mailto: raphael@450architects.com)
Offices of 450 Architects: 450 Clementina St., San Francisco between Howard & Folsom and 5th and 6th Sts., Powell BART.

Please join 450 architects for a social evening where we will also learn about and support the Prison Design Boycott being led by ADPSR (Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility) -- a campaign that asks architects and others to pledge not to design prisons. This is a unique chance to discuss ethical issues at the forefront of the design professions and consider how architects can take leadership on a political issue of national significance. There will be a brief slide presentation by ADPSR President Raphael Sperry (who we are proud to have working at 450) followed by a stimulating discussion in which you will be encouraged to participate.http://archinect.com/events/detail.php?id=E1863


SoMa Housing Summit: Filling the Ladder of Affordability

SoMa Leadership CouncilWednesday, March 16, 20056:00 PM at The Arc of San Francisco1500 Howard Street (at 11th)

1. Announcements
2. Introductions
3. SoMa Housing Summit: Filling the Ladder of Affordability

Introduction by John Elberling, chairman of the Yerba Buena Consortium and Executive Vice President of the Tenants and Owners Development Corp. (TODCO)

Perspectives on housing and affordability: Juan Blanco Prada, Interim Executive Director of the Coalition on Homelessness Market-rate's role in affordability: Charles Breidinger, Residential Builders' Association

Preservation of SoMa traditions and character: Anthony Faber, Mid-Market Project Area Committee and an SRO resident

Building decent housing and vibrant communities: Kate White, Executive Director, Housing Action Coalition

Jim Meko, chairSoMa Leadership Council


April Fool's Day Celebration to honor our friend Pat Murphy

04.01.05 April Fool's Day Celebration set to honor Pat Murphy

Publisher of the San Francisco Sentinel

Political insiders in San Francisco will be in heavy attendance at the April tribute and celebration of the San Francisco Sentinel's publisher, Pat Murphy.

The event will be held at Terrance Alan's hot new nightspot, Polo's Blue Cube, located at 34 Mason just off Market Street, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.

Host Committee

State Senator Carole Migden
State Assemblyman Mark Leno
President of the Board of Supervisors Aaron Peskin
Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier
Supervisor Tom Ammiano
Supervisor Bevan Dufty
Supervisor Sean Elsbernd
Supervisor Jake McGoldrick
Supervisor Fiona Ma
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi
Supervisor Geraldo Sandoval
City Attorney Dennis Herrera
District Attorney Kamala Harris
Public Defender Jeff Adachi
Treasurer Jose Cisneros
San Francisco Democratic Party
Asian American Political Coalition
Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club
Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club
SF Neighborhood Network

Pat Murphy is a lively presence on the San Francisco political scene, covering events and moods at City Hall too often ignored by the regular print media. With his ever-present bow tie and stately demeanor, he has been hailed as indispensable to the San Franciscans who really run the city. Two floors of celebrities, politicians, journalists and newsmakers will enjoy appetizers courtesy of the the Blue Cube's Terrance Alan and a no-host bar. Suggested donation is $20 (minimum) at the door. If you are unable to attend the event, checks may be mailed to Gerry Crowley at 7 Fielding, San Francisco, CA 94133 and should be made payable to the San Francisco Sentinel.

Organizers of the tribute include Terrance Alan, Gerry Crowley, Robert Haaland, David Heller, Susan King, Daniela Kirshenbaum, Jim Meko, Debbie Mesloh, Michael O'Connor and Nicholas Rosenberg.

For additional information, contact Michael O'Connor at divisadero628@earthlink.net.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Hello everyone, it’s been awhile, a lot has happened, and a lot has not. Too much to try and fill you in on everything if you haven't been paying attention. But, while Prop A (Affordable Housing Bond) failed recently with the voters here in SF, just barely missing the 2/3rd’s needed, and there is much to lament, the ship still sails on.

I have some news to update you on 'Architecture for Humanity', both from the East Coast and here in SF.

1. SIYATHEMBA: Tackling AIDS and Building Goals in South Africa Design Comp. Finalists Announced.
2. AFH.SF Community Design Event being planned for February ‘05
3. Prison Design Boycott Campaign - ADPSR

1. SIYATHEMBA: Tackling AIDS and Building Goals in South Africa Design Comp. Finalists Announced.

Over the summer Architecture for Humanity hosted an open international design competition to challenge designers to develop a community sports and healthcare facility in Somkhele in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, an area with one of the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the world. Participants were challenged to design a facility for less than $5000 that includes a youth-sized field, sideline benches, and a small clubhouse and changing room, employing sustainable and/or local building material using local labor to realize their design. Two hundred and seventy teams from thirty seven countries answered the call.

Well, nine finalists have been selected and honorable mentions will be announced Friday.

2. AFH.SF Community Design Event being planned for February

In February, the SF Chapter of 'Architecture for Humanity', SFOP (SF Organizing Project), and the SF Coalition on Homelessness ('Right to a Roof'), will be hosting an afternoon community design event as part of the development of 155/165 Grove St, SF near City Hall. This parcel is being considered for a joint low-income housing and arts space project building on the existing Public Arts Commission Space, and will be developed under the city's 'Surplus Land Initiative' passed by the Board of Supervisors earlier this year. Read this article for history of the campaign. Also, if you are a local SF Arts Organization please sign our online petition site to encourage the Board of Supervisors to develop a mixed use housing art space here, as opposed to one or the other.

The event will invite activists, non-profit housing developers, architects, and homeless people to engage in a dialogue to encourage the community's vision for this space. If you have interest in getting involved please contact me.

3. Prison Design Boycott Campaign - ADPSR

It is time to stop building prisons.
Our prison system is both a devastating moral blight on our society and an overwhelming economic burden on our tax dollars, taking away much needed resources from schools, health care and affordable housing. The prison system is corrupting our society and making us more threatened, rather than protecting us as its proponents claim. It is a system built on fear, racism, and the exploitation of poverty. Our current prison system has no place in a society that aspires to liberty, justice, and equality for all.

As architects, we are responsible for one of the most expensive parts of the prison system, the construction of new prison buildings. Almost all of us would rather be using our professional skills to design positive social institutions such as universities or playgrounds, but these institutions lack funding because of spending on prisons. If we would rather design schools and community centers, we must stop building prisons.

Please join members of Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) in pledging to not participate in the design, construction, or renovation of prisons. We also invite you to learn more about the prison system, to join us in envisioning more just and productive alternatives to incarceration, and to work towards a society that treats all its members with dignity, equality, and justice. Go here: Prison Design Boycott Campaign And read more here: Campaign in the News

* For additional information about this campaign please email us at prisons@adpsr.org

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