Launch of Soft Publics

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We have launched :  softpublics.com

Please see the site, as we now offer services for publics to reclaim streetscape.

Thank you for following us at Strange Quotidian!

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Hinging on a prayer…

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In search for that perfect hinge, I found two options, one is with piano hinges using 1/2″ sex bolts and small washers. The connections look great, however, the details require a lot of time and precision that will make it hard for presentation deadline. The reason I state this is because I will need to make several of these for the final exhibition/presentation. The second alternative was using a high-grade adhesive tape that is used to repair sails. It has a white fabric finish and used with a 1/4″ dia. rod creates a hinge with the panels.

Since these modular panels need to be carried by hand, I have decided that middle panels in each set will also have a cut-out so that your hand can go through each panel.

The Right of Way: For the purposes of Soft Publics, we treat the right of way up as a space up for negotiation. By placing one of the modular tiles on the sidewalk surface, we create an entry point to these temporal structures. So the design question becomes how does the structure touch the 6″ curb?

special thanks to Teo Biocina

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Refinements into the modular

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The system is now designed to really take on the persona of becoming this urban editor that whites-out the space both physically and by means of augmented reality. The trailer has received coats of white and new surface panels (more photos coming soon). The structure itself need to be more modulated in the sens that it comes specific pieces with multiple parts — not just made from one or two panels.

   

Test with strong adhesive clear tape and small cabinet brackets were not that sufficient in terms of an overall aesthetic. There were also tests with synthetic leather straps with epoxy- yet one fold would show a clean edge while the other side would bulge out. I got some sketches from students in our Grad Industrial Design and what was suggested was to see the gap where panels connected as a whole hinge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to create panels that bi-fold and can easily be put in the back of a truck — there came the thought of using double hinges. However, these are too wide for the 1/4″ panel thickness. Therefore, another alternative was to use either a modulated piano hinge and also a special fabric tape used by sail makers to repair sails. The fabric tape required a rod (which was suggested in the Grad ID sketches) to help fold 180 on both sides.

 

 

the rundown thus far

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the following are experts from a presentation given on 03.13.2012 and also include (post-thoughts) as well

Soft Publics is a private agency.
We believe in using the private sector to leverage streetscape from a undefined space into a provocative place. We are inspired from the events of the Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy Orange County and 2011 Arab Spring Protests because they demonstrate of how single entities can use reclaimed public space as a form of media. We navigate through municipal and all other branches of city codes find pockets within streetscape that offer great potential as a new public utility.

Soft Publics is a deployable system that recalculates the zoning of parking stalls, right of way, setbacks of buildings as new public utility.
We use temporal means to activate these hidden public utilities. Municipal Codes define parking stalls as hourly spaces (30 min, 2hours, 4hours, etc. ).  The right of way for sidewalks and the setbacks of buildings are set by city codes to be dedicated open areas for purposes of traffic and accessibility. The new public utility is a formula defined by (the time allotted for street parking, the width of the public right of way, and the area of adjacent set backs.)

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Soft Publics is not a missionary project
We are not saving anything or anyone.

Soft Publics is not a, or an extension of, a parklet system or pop-up park
Although those have great intention

Soft Publics is not a non profit.
We are also not a private association with RoadviewAds.com or any sign company specializing with road view advertisements.

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Soft Publics exists in a marginalia of streetscape and definitely makes sense in Los Angeles.  
These margins are exceptional places in Los Angeles because they are made up adjacent spaces that are governed by different bodies of local government. No part of the streetscape exist without reason but maybe are under utilized or ripe for an intervention. We take a proactive stance by stretching the definition of ‘ a registered vehicle with an attached trailer’ to reveal these spaces. Only in Los Angeles, would a vehicle be used to make a new type of public space.

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Soft Publics leverages media by being a adaptable system for the purpose of ‘space-programming’
In between the plan and section of these revealed spaces lies the potential for new programming of a public space.   The system is not only hacked U-haul truck, a hacked parking stall, and a hacked floor plan but also a hacking of municipal codes. These are used to help layout the first series of programming for Soft Publics.

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Screening/ White-Out :

During this past review, the most pressing question that reverbed throughout the critics was : “What is the underlying motivation and focus for this work?” I believed that this reaction happened because the project is indeed seen as ‘this kit of parts‘ — but to what ends? 

manifesto – code – (CDs) drawings – PSAs? (Brand – Public Utility)

What Utility does this provide? Being seen by code and interacting with some that we don’t see.

Motivation for Revealing the Space?  (Revealing – Commercial – Activist) // The underlying tone to call attention to these figures

A Public Engagement (advocacy to raise awareness) public space is about right of way and can be changed right of way. The right of way can be negotiated. System of where one cannot be documented, questions who can use this and protect the reveal. Screening and whiteout to physically hack into the space. This structure is assertive

Results of mediation , (contemporary dialogue), larger technology relationships, scalability, edges of infiltrating another system, camouflaged  in this space for as long as possible.

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