Thursday, December 24, 2009

year end update

Hey, Blog-O-Sphere, I know it has been a while since you've heard from us here at fDC. We've been doing a lot of internal tinkering, ensuring that we function like a real collective instead a hodgedy podgedy mish mash shmoopy whoopy of friends and colleagues who are working together to make a difference in our community.

Some might say we've become more rigid in our tasks (and now have fewer baby talk words to describe our working order), but I say we're becoming more stream-lined and highly efficient. The organization is as follows:

There are six committees and each committee chair is automatically a member of the steering comittee, who makes large picture decisions for the organization and the budget. Chair positions last for the year, but there will be a 3 month review (March 2010), where it is a possibility that chair position and general tasks might be rotated or altered or deleted.

Congratulations to our 2010 Chairpersons/Steering Committee!
  1. Internal Operations, chairman Jason Harm
  2. Project Operations, chairwoman Alison Woolf
  3. Development & Education, chairman Matt Jasmin
  4. Marketing, chairwoman Katie Crepeau
  5. Outreach, chairwoman Sarah Appleman
  6. Lifeboat, chairwoman (and sole member) Frances Reid
Now, since the heads of these committee also make up the majority of our membership, each committee head has a partner otherwise known as their "sherpa."

This is what Sherpas usually look like (photo on the left):

Now, I must admit that we as sherpas don't quite look the same - our wood is bigger, heavier, more impressive - we have arranged our team leaders and sherpas to create a network of leadership and team work which should improve our activities. This network is a mixture of formal organizational structure and our hodgey podgey mish mash shmooshy whooshy that separates us from the rest.

Volunteer positions for committees will be opening up soon! All sherpa positions have been filled.

Check back for further descriptions of committee purposes and goals.

Many thanks to Ronak Dave for mentoring us through this organization process.

happy holidays. merry winter. be well in the new year.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

design: window plants

We've had so much interest in our screen of plants and we've really enjoyed talking about the methods to create this beautiful, useful, delicious art, well at least the first fifty times it was fun to discuss. My point is, a huge amount of interest has been generated, and we are so humbled to have had so many people walk away from our park, saying, "I'm inspired..." "I'm gonna make one of those" "How Clever!"

One author
, Jaymi, on TreeHugger has this to say link-to-awesome-article.

One of our members had the idea for a plant wall, but we figured out the specifics using the instructions created by

voice: tagging the tent

Many of you at West Coast Green were able to activate this year's theme, "You Are Brilliant," by sharing your dream design idea at our Park(ing) Day Park.

As promised, we have made these ideas available for all to see! Sharing your ideas is the first step to making them a reality.


Monday, September 28, 2009

behind the scenes

Photos op's from a meeting.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pacific Coummunity Services

A phone call to Pacific Community Services (PCSI) proved right on target, when Executive Director Tom LaFleur conveyed to me the story of their office building being ravished by flames several months ago. PCSI is a wonderful non-profit housing counselor organization providing private consultation on a variety of topics at no charge to residents of Contra Costa County, Solano Couty and San Joaquin County.
They have set up shop literally right down the street, patiently waiting for the rebuild of their home.

Stephanie's initial consultation and last week's site visit were insightful, where she met the architect Mike Garavaglia and job captain Chris Lutjen with Garavaglia Architects, the Structural Engineer Al Saadeh of AWS, Alturo - MEP and other potential construction crew members.

Thursday morning, Stephanie, Katie and Matt made our first schematic presentation to Tom. The team discussed concept, layout, adjacencies, materiality, aesthetic taste and most important, budget. We are excited to be working with Tom in helping him re-envision his office and rebuild their team's home, which serves 1500 clients a year! We applaud Tom for providing individuals with such a great service. It's great to see organizations give back to communities and those in need. We wish PCSI the best of luck through their new transition and continued success and look forward to working with Tom through this process! Thank you Tom for the opportunity!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Park(ing) Day Complete!

Waking up with the sun is how fdC started its Park(ing) Day. Almost the entire team woke up with me –Katie, J, Stephanie, and Alison were a part of a set-up. Only three designers could have packed our City Car Share Scion like we did with room left to sit. There wasn’t far to drive since we had been able to store our entire park at an upholstery shop, Richard Andronaco, Inc. Richard was really gracious to give us a part of his storage space and he even helped us move some of the heavier buckets of sand! Thanks Richard!

The park was a huge success and we were able to feed the meter the entire day! We really enjoyed ourselves and loved our own foresight to have shade on a day which felt like you could cook eggs on the sidewalk. Thank you to all the Park Monitors who turned up to make our park a HUGE success Jenny, Stephanie, Katie, Jason, and Alison.

Our design intent was to have a park built from reused materials: cardboard tubes; umbrellas; tent poles; sand; buckets; FLOR sample tile; water bottles

Blogs where the fdC park was featured:


Car-Free Talk


Come Visit Us again At West Coast Green 2009 Oct 1-3! Free tradeshow passes when you volunteer to be a Park Monitor with fdC.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

park(ing) day 2009 update

Come visit the Free Design Clinic on Valencia street at 20th & Valencia.

Come hang out with your friends! We're going to be hosting an ongoing art installation all day - "Voice." Stop and by to contribute yours and learn a little about what Free Design Clinic offers to clients and volunteers.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

project 2: Park(ing) Day: mock-up

This past Sunday we met at Duboce Park to test constructability of an umbrella screen/canopy for our park. We had some ideas of how to put it together but doing a mock-up helped us test them out and find a system that we can use.

First we worked on securing the open umbrellas together with wire and washers, and then using sewing pins as a replacement for safety pins, which we determined will work
the best. After being secured together, we could hold up the 'canopy' using the handles of the umbrellas but still needed a frame to create the main structure. We tried inverting the umbrellas and the interior space created with just the fabric of the umbrellas worked out much better!

Sarah had tent poles that we put together and strung through the inner frame of the umbrellas, popped them up, and the poles worked on supporting umbrellas. By adding smaller tent frame poles, we were able to support the inner umbrellas and we have our umbrella canopy figured out!

It would be great to use the handles and frame of umbrellas on the 'exterior' of the screen - any ideas?

We need a few more colorful umbrellas and we will be ready to construct this portion of our park on September 18th. If you have any slightly damaged and able to repair umbrellas that you would like to donate, we would love to use them for Park(ing) Day and West Coast Green - please comment below! And stop by September 18th at Valencia St & 18th to see our the completed project!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


The Free Design Clinic is pleased to announce its first partnership with West Coast Green 2009, the premiere conference on green design and innovation. The fdC is going to be sharing its mini park, showcasing reused materials and urban farming. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

thanks to our generous hosts

We want to send a big thank you to HKS Architects and SNOB Wine Bar for opening up their spaces for our weekly meetings. We really appreciate having a big table and room for all of us to gather!

We're looking for a place the week of September 28th for an info meeting so if you have any ideas or want to open up your space to us, please leave a comment below!

Monday, August 10, 2009

project 2: Park(ing) Day

I'm not sure that any group has spent as much time as we have trying to determine the best location for our Park(ing) Day spot. We're an interesting case because we're essentially homeless - so where do we go? Amongst the architects? Downtown with the tourists? Mission with young folks like us?

We're hoping that our park can serve as a launch pad for our board to come together with a great design and show San Francisco what we're capable of. I don't want to reveal too much about the current design ideas but they incorporate - interesting ground covers, shade, graffiti art, design therapy and reused objects!

project 1: Glide Memorial

Things are moving forward with Glide. We're waiting on having them fill out our program questionaire. We hope to receive the finished ones from their managers some time next week!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

project 1: Glide Memorial

Our first client meeting with the Glide staff went well. We met with the facility director and the health services director, key players in outlining the program we will need to address. We got answers to some essential programming questions and fielded our new style of personal questioning, designed by Ronak.

Glide Memorial Church

Terry, the facility director, was able to show us the original architectural drawings from the 1930’s construction of Glide Memorial Church. The blueprints were printed on canvas and although the sheets seemed fit to last for another hundred years the white lines were faded and hard to read in some areas. It was a wonderful experience getting to handle these old blueprints and they shed light on some important structural considerations for the design.

Since all of us work during the day, we brought some incentives for the Glide staff and ourselves in the form of delicious coffee cheesecake from Joanne! She was modest about her cooking skills, but the cheesecake was yummy.


Thanks to Ray Viotti at PPV & Associates for lending us his laser measurer.