SF Agenda: Design and Arts Events in the Bay Area


It’s the August doldrums when everyone is out of town, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few events drumming up in the Bay Area. In fact, one of the biggest design events of the year kicks off this week: Architecture and the City Festival. Hosted by the American Institute of Architects San Francisco and the Center for Architecture + Design, this 10th annual event features more than 40 programs, including walking tours, lectures, art exhibitions, films, and more. This year’s festival theme is “Unbuilt San Francisco,” which will showcase many buildings and spaces that were designed but never built, “from theoretical urban interventions and works in progress to civic landmarks and hidden histories.” Read more about a couple of the events below. Runs from September 1 to September 30, various locations.

Keeping with the theme of Unbuilt San Francisco, the Architecture and the City Festival is featuring an exciting exhibition of drawings, plans, and designs of buildings that never came to be or structures that changed dramatically from early iterations. Institutions like the Environmental Design Archives at UC Berkeley, California Historical Society, SPUR, and the San Francisco Public Library are showcasing images from their archival collections, which include early designs of San Francisco City Hall, neighborhood-scaled plans that met resistance from residents, and outlandish renderings of structures that never had a chance. Runs on various dates and at five different locations. Opening reception is on September 6 from 5pm to 9pm, Annie Alley, between 678 and 654 Mission Street.

To get people geared up for the Architecture and the City Festival, Obscura Digital is throwing an opening night bash at its stunning Dogpatch headquarters in San Francisco. Iwamoto Scott Architecture designed Obscura’s headquarters, which is in a light-filled 1940s three-story concrete, steel, and wood warehouse. The party will salute the people, organizations, and cultural institutions that create San Francisco’s architecture and design community. Opening Night Party is on August 30, 729 Tennessee Street.

Image courtesy of Heath Ceramics.


When you’ve had your fill of building architecture for the week, head on over to Heath Ceramics. The SF-based maker of function and beautiful objects is hosting a culinary design event that will bring together food and design in a show dubbed “Southern at the Table.” Partnering with the Southern Foodways Alliance, the event will celebrate the South’s textiles, dinnerware, and food. Southern at the Table is featuring Heath’s dinnerware collaboration with Natalie Chanin and hand-sewn table textiles by Alabama Chanin, along with a spread of Southern food products like Alabama Biscuit Company and Virginia Willis’ My Southern Pantry Heirloom Grits. Runs through September 1, 2900 18th Street.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art might be closed for renovation, but its galleries are still viewable at select mobile sites, touted as “SFMOMA On the Go” hotspots. The current Beyond Belief exhibit at the Contemporary Jewish Museum features modern artwork created within the last century by visionaries like Paul Klee and Piet Mondrian and leading contemporary artists including Jay DeFeo, Kiki Smith, and Zarina. If you can’t wait two more years to get your fix of modern art, this is a fantastic chance to explore the under-the-radar works in the SFMOMA collection. 736 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94103

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