Rebar Walklet

Matthew Passmore

User-Generated Urbanism (Or, “What is that park doing in my parking space?”)

Date 12/6/10

Affiliation Principal, Rebar Art & Design Studio, San Francisco


In recent years, artists and designers have developed a variety of temporary tactical urban interventions that are also powerful instruments for spatial research and experimentation. Using findings from a number of such instruments (including temporary parks in parking spaces and hot pink inflatable street furniture) Rebar has begun to design and develop permanent urban spaces that are modular, flexible and designed - in part and over time - by the people who use them. This talk explores some recent Rebar projects in the context of this “user-generated urbanism” and examines the role of the artist and designer in contributing to the quality and character of urban public space.


Matthew Passmore is an artist and a principal at Rebar, an art and design studio based in San Francisco. His principal areas of interest include the relationship between forms of codified and customary regulations and how those regulations are deployed to organize, categorize and valuate elements of the physical and cultural landscape. As at principal at Rebar, Matthew has exhibited work and lectured worldwide, including at the Venice Architecture Biennale, ExperimentaDesign Amsterdam, ISEA 2009 Dublin, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the American Institute of Architects, the Canadian Center for Architecture, the Harvard GSD, Parsons School of Design, U.C. Berkeley, the Univ. of Michigan, the Univ. of Mass. Amherst and many others. He is the recipient of a 2010 Creative Work Fund Grant.

-- As of 12/6/10

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