Soft Publics is a private agency.
We believe in leveraging under-utilized streetspace to practice democracy. We are inspired by the events of the Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy Orange County and 2011 Arab Spring Protests. We use temporal means to activate unnoticed 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.
Soft Publics is a mobile system that exists in the margins of urban streetscape.
We take a proactive stance by stretching the definition of ‘a registered vehicle with an attached trailer’ to activate these spaces. The system stretches across parking stalls in both and height and length to re-negotiate the right of way.
Soft Publics is a form of media to edit physical space.
Our mobile system enables participants to edit the city. These various tactics include:
1. Creating a physical screen to block a building’s visibility from the street
2. Creating a temporary shelter for public occupation
3. Redirecting pedestrian or street traffic with iconography
4. Triggering through QR Code, the virtual ‘white-out’ of a building or the phantom appearance of a proposed improvement
5. Activating a space through a spectacle structure
6. Re-territorializing space for specific uses and functions
These tactics are geared to leverage public space in order to exercise political thought.