We came across an article written by the creator of the Proxy project and learned more about its design and inception.
Douglas Burnham is the founder of envelope A+D, the firm behind the development and design of our Proxy Project. For those of you not familiar with that phrase, it’s the area along Octavia that’s currently inhabited by shipping containers and merchants such as Biergarten, Smitten Ice Cream and SoSF Bike Tours.
With a charge of designing and implementing the project for free in the middle of a recession, Mr. Burnham’s firm took a huge risk by borrowing money from a client (since banks weren’t giving out loans).
As he described his strategies, “We hypothesized compelling temporary uses, sought out prospective vendors, developed design strategies that utilized low-cost, easily deployable modules, and built coalitions with neighborhood groups, local business owners, and city officials.”
He goes on to say that the reason they called it “Proxy” is because “it is intended to be a placeholder for a more permanent development” and it shows how “incremental, place-based change can encourage entrepreneurial activity and community participation—despite economic obstacles—by establishing a framework to promote local micro-enterprises.”
Similar to the Hayes Valley Farm, this is also a temporary project.
To read more about his vision for Proxy, check out the rest of the Architect Magazine.