5M NETWORK + PROGRAMS
Engadget | April 2013
TECHSHOP: AN INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION FOR $125 A MONTH
"TechShop's mini-empire of social hackerspaces stands as a testament to the right idea at the right moment. It's the result of a whole lot of distinct elements congealing into a successful business model, including a membership fee that gains you access to the tools and classes to help you do just about anything yourself."
USA Today | March 2013
NEW TECH ECONOMY: 3D PRINTING'S PROMISE IN PROSTHETICS
"While large businesses have begun using 3D printing and prototyping to streamline product development, tech hobbyists and other individuals are using the technology in revolutionary ways."
SmartPlanet | February 2013
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A COWORKER
"What sets the Hub apart from generic co-working spaces is its focus on attracting members whose work focuses on environmental and social issues. ... The Hub Bay Area runs an event series that focuses on connecting members and helping them with skills development or networking advice. At occasional 'town hall meetings' members are asked to play an active role in shaping the Hub’s future and its programming."
The San Francisco Appeal | February 2013
LOCALLY MANUFACTURED ITEMS SIGHTED (BRIEFLY) IN UNION SQUARE
"Though one might argue that Banana Republic is a local company, owned as they are by Gap Inc., which is headquartered in San Francisco, it's unlikely that you'd expect to find anything in their stores that was actually manufactured here. However, when I visited the Banana Republic in Union Square this week, I finally got to see some of the locally made items that SFMade has been selling at the BR store at 256 Grant Avenue."
7X7 | February 2013
APPLIED SCIENCE: "BY-PRODUCT BECOMES PRODUCT" AT INTERSECTION FOR THE ARTS
"Stop for a second, and think about the number of toxins you touch, breathe, even taste in one day. Then think about what that means for those whose jobs bring them in constant, enduring contact of those materials for a living. Intersection of the Art's latest cross-disciplinary project 'By-product Becomes Product' examines the role and effect of hazardous materials specifically in the artist's studio."
CNN | January 2013
THE ORIGAMI-INSPIRED FOLDING KAYAK
"I built over twenty versions — first in a friend’s garage, then at TechShop in San Francisco. TechShop was a revelation: Its tools allowed me to build far better and faster, and the community got me thinking about the future of the Oru Kayak (a boat that could fold up like a piece of paper)."
Triple Pundit | January 2013
COWORKING AT THE HUB, WHERE IDEAS COME TO MEET
"The HUB Bay Area attracts some heavy hitters in the sustainable business space, including the Presidio Graduate School and B Lab—the nonprofit certifier for B Corp (HUB Bay Area is certified)—both with permanent offices at the San Francisco location. Providing an opportunity to rub elbows with organizations like these certainly makes membership alluring for early stage impact startups that can draw on the expertise of these more established members and the impressive speakers."
7x7 | February 2013
FIRST OF FIVE SOMA LIGHT SCULPTURES UNVEILED TONIGHT
"Over the next six months, the area around 5th and Mission Streets will be transformed with five simple words: Who, What, Where, When, Why. With a combination of light and sculpture, the 5W Project will fill the normally grey and cement areas with illuminated questions. The first piece—WHO, a 10-foot, 300 pound steel bench—will be unveiled tonight at 6:30 pm at Mint Plaza."
SmartPlanet | October 2012
URBAN PROTOTYPING AND THE DAWN OF DIY URBANISM
"'Prototyping is permission to experiment,' Tom Kelley told attendees of the first annual Urban Prototyping Festival in San Francisco, on October 20. 'It’s a way to unlock creativity.' … The Urban Prototyping Festival (or “UP Fest”) started with a call for citizen-sourced prototypes for addressing a specific urban need or problem and offer a solution that integrates both physical and digital elements. The projects were to utilize existing infrastructure — fences, fire hydrants, et cetera — and be replicable in any city, with a prototype budget of $1,000 or less."
Wired | October 2012
HACKING THE STREETSCAPE AT THE URBAN PROTOTYPING FESTIVAL
"In the alleys behind the San Francisco Chronicle building, an unusual part of town where capital-rich startups flank skeezy porn shops and dollar stores, an experiment was going on. Music from DJs accented the sounds of a warm Saturday afternoon, accompanying 23 interactive project mockups that lined the streets and sidewalks, each representing an early stage of what its creators imagined could become a viral improvement to neighborhoods and cities across the country and the world."
Huffington Post | October 2012
URBAN PROTOTYPING FESTIVAL REDEFINES SAN FRANCISCO'S PUBLIC SPACE
"A collaboration between the Gray Area Foundation For The Arts, Ideo, Rebar, Intersection for the Arts, the 5m Project and the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Civic Innovation, the Urban Prototyping Festival was a celebration of what innovators in the fields of technology and artist expression can bring into urban spaces."
Fast Company Co.Exist | October 2012
PROTOTYPING THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT WITH GARDEN URINALS AND STAIRCASE SLIDES
"In cities across North America, tiny parks known as "parklets" have begun to take over parking spots in front of storefronts, creating spaces for passersby to congregate, lounge, and park their bikes. Parklets are just one piece of a larger movement to take back underutilized public spaces in cities. This past weekend, San Francisco’s Urban Prototyping Festival, held in the city’s troubled yet evolving Central Market neighborhood, showcased creative innovations from local residents that aim to make the urban environment more livable."
San Francisco Chronicle | October 2012
S.F. URBAN PROTOTYPING FESTIVAL OPENS
"Perhaps only in San Francisco, and only at a street party with 'urban prototyping' in the name, could hopscotch, graffiti, fruit fences and garden-style urinals share space. They were among the 23 projects spotlighted at the festival, which was part art installation and part urban experimentation."
Smithsonian (Design Decoded) | October 2012
SAN FRANCISCO’S MAKEATHON LEADS THE WAY FOR HACKING THE URBAN LANDSCAPE
"Last weekend in San Francisco, a group of civic organizations hosted a 48-hour design makeathon that was meant to yield clever solutions for improving one of the city’s shadier districts. … The makeathon took place inside this building and at the nearby TechShop, but the design interventions were meant to target the streets outside. Teams formed on Friday night, and had two days to plot an act of tactical urbanism—a temporary or mobile design intervention that would engage citizens in shaping their own neighborhoods."
San Francisco Chronicle | November 2011
HEARST PLANS MAJOR REDEVELOPMENT AROUND CHRONICLE
The San Francisco city block that houses The Chronicle's headquarters would be transformed with new offices, housing and small public plazas under plans that the Hearst Corp. and developer Forest City filed with the city on Thursday. The preliminary project assessment filed with the City Planning Department Thursday contains basic outlines and starts a public review process expected to take two to three years. The project is designed to create a loose community of people working in the "creative economy," said Alexa Arena, vice president for Forest City-San Francisco. "Maximizing social value and maximizing business value can be very much in tandem, and the best in urban development does that." - "It's a real opportunity for the city to see some growth, for this property to be used in a much more dynamic way," said Frank Vega, publisher of The Chronicle.
San Francisco Business Times | November 2011
FOREST CITY UNVEILS FUTURISTIC PLANS FOR CHRONICLE SITE
“The last two years have been about re-imagining places for our emerging economy and what kind of environment helps facilitate that,” said Alexa Arena, vice president of Forest City. Exactly how those ideas will translate on a larger scale into bricks and mortar — actual office towers, public plazas, apartment buildings, galleries — is something that will be hammered out over a two- to three-year public planning process that will start now, she says. With their submission of the a preliminary project assessment application, Forest City and Hearst Corp are proposing to build 1.3 million square feet of commercial space, 700 units of housing and a wide array of cultural and arts uses at Fifth and Mission streets. “We are creating a central social district and to do that you need constant activity,” Arena said. Gabriel Metcalf, executive director of the urban think-tank SPUR, said the project is the biggest opportunity to come to the city in a long time. "They are trying to do something which we all talk about but which is rarely done: a truly mixed-use project. Their model of a center for innovation is something they have already prototyped. It’s not just an idea.”
San Francisco Business Times | September 2011
FOREST CITY INCUBATOR 5M REACHES OUT | Redevelopment spawns community nonprofit
Forest City’s experiment in unorthodox development at the San Francisco Chronicle property at Fifth and Mission streets is taking a new twist with the establishment of a nonprofit that will focus on job and entrepreneurship training, as well as community and youth programs.The nonprofit, 5M.org, is a collaboration between Forest City and Intersection for the Arts, and is being kicked off with a $777,000 grant for “placemaking” from ArtPlace, a consortium of foundations, federal agencies, and financial institutions. Other 5M tenants involved in the project are: the Hub, which supports social entrepreneurs; and TechShop, a do-it-yourself workshop that gives members access to tools, equipment, instruction and a creative community.The creation of 5M “reflects Forest City’s deep interest in having the project be interwoven into the community,” Alex Michel, 5M Director, said.
San Francisco Chronicle | September 2011
ARTPLACE GIVES 5 BAY AREA ARTS GROUPS $2.7 MILLION
The grants, part of $11.5 million funding 34 projects across the country in ArtPlace's first round, reflect "a growing realization that art can take a broader and more integrated role in economic and community change," said Intersection for the Arts Executive Director Deborah Cullinan. Intersection received $777,000 to help fund its ongoing 5M Project (in partnership with Forest City Development), a prototype community of 2,000 entrepreneurs, technology companies and artists headquartered in The Chronicle building. Programs include large-scale public art projects, artist residencies and engaging local youth with 5M partners to address neighborhood issues.
New York Times | September 2011
CONSORTIUM VIEWS ARTS AS ENGINE FOR RECOVERY
An unusual consortium of foundations, corporations and federal agencies are using cultural enterprises to anchor and enliven 34 projects around the country. In San Francisco the real estate developer Forest City — together with Intersection for the Arts, an alternative nonprofit art space — is redeveloping four downtown acres in the Yerba Buena, Tenderloin and Market districts, converting properties like the old San Francisco Chronicle building, parking lots and vacant warehouses into film and digital-media businesses, artists’ workshops and cultural event spaces. “Art is a critical component of what makes cities thrive,” said Alexa Arena, the Forest City executive overseeing the effort. “This is about looking at the life of the project rather than just the physicality of it.”
San Francisco Business Times | June 2011
A TEMPLATE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OFFICE SPACE
As property owners across the city bend over backwards to court hot tech companies like Salesforce and Twitter, one landlord has been busy turning them away. Developer Forest City has created such a thriving community of entrepreneurs, artists, and innovators. 5M is home to an estimated 1,000 companies, mostly tiny start-ups. “How interesting it is for artists to be engaged with social entrepreneurs,” Deborah Cullihan of Intersection for the Arts said. “Artists don’t want to work in silos.”
Fast Company Magazine | May 2011
BRAVE NEW COWORKING WORLD
Coworking offices have evolved into mini networks themselves, where entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small-business owners can travel from space to space and build projects as soon as they sketch them. One of the most prominent examples of this is the 5M project in San Francisco, where in April 2010, developers unveiled a four-acre campus that features three inaugural tenants: Hub SoMa (a desk-for-rent space for social entrepreneurs), TechShop (a DIY workshop), and Intersection for the Arts (a not-for-profit arts incubator) "It's not creating a Starbucks," says Alexa Arena of Forest City Development, the lead firm on the project. "It's creating a center of gravity that's constantly going."
5M.ORG PRESS RELEASE | September 26, 2011
5M.ORG LAUNCHED TO GENERATE JOBS, SUPPORT YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, AND CULTIVATE SOCIAL CHANGE IN SAN FRANCISCO