The Great Urban Hack SF: Tenderloin

Join Hacks/Hackers, Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, Stamen Design, Kicker Studio, and others for a weekend of programming, reporting and design around San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. Last year GAFFTA and Stamen collaborated to create Tenderloin Dynamic, a project that created interactive and printed pieces that allowed visitors to explore the Tenderloin through a series of different maps and mappings. Using data from the Uptown Tenderloin Historic District, public data made available by the City of San Francisco’s, and other data sets, the project provided a unique view of this fascinating neighborhood. Tenderloin Dynamic offered unique perspectives and unexpected insight to this complex and dynamic nexus at the center of San Francisco’s cultural and social fabric.

So that’s why we’re bringing together programmers, designers and journalists to make sense of it all and find new ways to present the issues and challenges facing this central San Francisco neighborhood.

We want to find the stories in the data and look at how to convey those best to neighborhood residents and others. We’re open to anything from mobile apps to informative displays on street corners. We will all collaborate for the weekend on the project, starting on Saturday morning by heading out into the community to find the best way to design our project and working through Sunday afternoon to build prototypes.

The work that comes out of this project will be featured at GAFFTA in conjunction with a broader media and art exhibition put on by the City of San Francisco in early December.

The sponsor for the weekend is the Knight News Challenge, a media innovation contest funded and run
by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which opens for entries on Oct 25. More info is available at:


Screenshots of the Tenderloin Dynamic Project:

Draft schedule:

Saturday, Nov. 6:
9am: Gather at GAFFTA, introductions
930am-12p: Head out into neighborhood for initial needfinding with community
12p-1p: Gather to share findings
1p-230p: Condense insights, brainstorm on prototypes
2p-6p: Initial prototyping
7pm-11pm: Teams are welcome to stay for a symposium and performances
11pm on please keep on hacking if you dare!

Sunday, Nov. 7:
9am: Share prototypes
930am-11: Test prototypes in community
11-12p: Share feedback on prototypes
12p-4p: Refine prototypes based on user feedback
4p-6p: Present prototypes and discuss next steps to prepare projects for exhibition/launch