A time-lapse video of the setup of the Urban Barnacle alpha prototype.
The Barnacle is an open-source, scalable modular street incubator. It is a catalyst for activating underutilized streetscapes and accelerating the creative economy by enabling digital commerce for street vending. By integrating solar furniture into modular pieces of street architecture, Urban Barnacle facilitates new economic opportunities while sparking civic dialog and exchange.
The Barnacle provides access to power and vending space in vacant spaces whilst lowering barriers to entry for microentrepreneurs. While residents of neighborhoods can enjoy shopping at Urban Barnacle kiosks, charging their cellphones, and sitting on the seating space desperately needed in many neighborhoods, visitors can also be drawn away from established commercial shopping zones to explore new local vendors.
Urban Barnacle also communicates and collects data in innovative ways. Each kiosk provides opportunities to get information on local startups and direct people to a central website where they can learn to make their own, become a vendor, learn about the vendors, and find where an Urban Barnacle will be popping up in their neighborhood. Each barnacle has its own profile and QR code/URL, so visitors who are interested in learning more can go to site to read about the vendor and find out more about the project.
Colorful, fun, bright, and unique, Urban Barnacle utilizes existing street architecture – poles which are available in a variety of sizes in every city – to activate the street, bring a touch of whimsy to the streetscape, and provides services for residents and entrepreneurs.
Urban Barnacle was born out of the 3-day Urban Prototyping:San Francisco Makeathon, initiated by the Gray Area Foundation For the Arts in partnership with Intersection for the Arts, The 5M Project, The Mayor's Office of Civic Innovation, and in collaboration with IDEO, TechShop, Rebar and Autodesk.
The Barnacle was created by Beth Ferguson, Beth Schechter, Sarah Filley, Emily Peckenham, Dan Parham and Misa Grannis.