Archive for September, 2012

September 12, 2012

Last Call for 2012 Shade Structures: Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper

With our second to last Living Plaza of the season, we’re going big! We’re going Shady! And we asking for your help! Okay, that’s a lot of exclamation points, but we’re really excited!!!


Living Plaza: Re-thinking Shade 2 is happening Wednesday, September  26th from 11:30-3pm. Every month we get together during the lunch hour to show the City Hall crowd and other Downtowners how to activate the City Hall plaza with food trucks, entertainment, tables and chairs, and a whole lot more surprises. We are in our second year, and we have expanded the conversation by asking citizens to contribute their uniqueness and creativity to the event.


Re-thinking Shade 2 is an opportunity for citizens to contribute ideas about shade on the Plaza, and to re-think how our plaza, a public space, can be used and shared by everyone in the city. Plus, it’s hot and we want to build shade structures to stay cool.

We put out the first call at the beginning of August, and got some great responses from artists around the community to build some bold and very compellingly designed structures. In order to support those structure ideas we started a kickstarter to help with funding – $5,000 by Sep. 19th. There’s still time to donate!

The kickstarter is meant to re-inforce our mission to encourage community-led place-making projects, and to demonstrate that citizens can improve the city without having to rely on a big capital improvement projects. For that reason, we’re raising the money independently of City Hall.


We want to give everyone one last opportunity to join the fun! This time we’re taking a Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper approach. With the last call, we’re challenging you to build a low-cost structure ranging from $25-$250. We can’t guarantee you funding at this time, so it’s all about showing how resilient you can be with what you have.

The first Re-thinking Shade gave us Beach Bench, which was made out of reclaimed wood and previously purchased fabric, for under $150. It also gave us Trash Bin Seat, a 45-gallon trash bin which transforms into a chair, for $30. Both were constructed in 5hrs. So, let your imagination roam and see what you can do on a tight budget.

The plan is to keep the structures on the plaza for 10 days, starting from Sep. 26th, then move them around to other locations around town. If you want them to stay on the plaza, make sure your design is sturdy and wind resistant – the Trash Bin Seat was more of a one-day installation – which is cool too. Then we’ll take lots of pictures and post them to facebook for the world to see, and who knows maybe come up with other spin-offs ideas or use them again in the future.


Email us a quick sketch and description of what you want to build. Anything goes, under 399 sq ft. Commit to build it. Then bring it to Living Plaza, September 26th. There’s no deadline to submit!

For more information you can contact patrick [at]

Happy building!!! We couldn’t end this post without more exclamation points 😉

September 7, 2012

Shade-y Ideas to be Built With Your Kickstarter Support!

With all the great ideas we got from our first exploration of the need for shade on our plaza, we’re giving it another go-around with Shade II. We received some great shade structure concepts from artists and designers from around Dallas (and even out of the country!) But these visionaries are going to need some financial assistance to get these ideas built.

So we’re raising funds through KICKSTARTER for the materials these spry artists and designers need to build their designs. They’ll all be on display on the City Hall Plaza beginning Wednesday September 26th for our September Living Plaza event, then move to a few other plazas around the city for folks to enjoy!

We’ve got 12 days to go to reach our lofty goal of $5,000. Let’s get shady!

And if you still want to build, we’ve got a few openings left!

Contact amanda (at)