Fog Installation to Celebrate San Francisco’s Unique Climate

Fog Installation to Celebrate San Francisco’s Unique Climate
Arts & Culture

Regardless of the weather forecast, city residents will be able to lose themselves in the mist during an April exhibition

Janet Burns
  • 5 november 2014

Mark Twain famously mused that the coldest winter he’d experienced was, in fact, a San Francisco summer. The author has done well, then, to make himself unavailable for an upcoming Market Street event, during which an extra bit of human-made fog — on top of whatever cold weather an SF spring also sees fit to bring — will be rolled out.


For three days in April of 2015, a device called the Fogplane will be parked near the Civic Center BART station in San Francisco, offering passers by an on-demand chill. The planned installation will be a tribute to the area’s famed micro-climate, but also to the city’s uniqueness (or micro-culture, if you will). As the responsible group’s website explains,

As we adventure around our diverse neighborhoods, we experience the depths of the city’s diversity, peeling away and exposing the layers of its people, cultures and spaces. Fog rolls in and out of our city every day, veiling and unveiling our own moments and memories of San Francisco […] a catalyst to evoke a sense of familiarity and a sense of community. We see fog as an environment that supersedes all differences in the community and is the common element that binds the city.


The project was picked for fruition as part of the Market Street Prototyping Festival, which selected 50 proposed installations to fill Market Street during its three-day April event. With the help of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Knight Foundation, festival organizers aimed to recognize and construct projects that will “make [the city’s] public space more active, vibrant and engaging.” The organization’s site explains,

As a placemaking project, the Festival is driven by community needs and desires – we looked for project designs that do the same […] We looked for projects that encourage activity where people linger, socialize and spend time while simultaneously reflecting the district in which they exist. We also wanted projects that identify Market Street as uniquely San Francisco, creating an experience of the city’s history, diversity, environmental commitment, and leadership in cultural creativity and technological innovation.


Fogplane will be constructed from multiple layers of stretchy, opaque fabric, causing different levels of visibility depending on where a viewer stands. According to the creators’ pitch, the piece’s layers “inherently mimic the qualities of rolling fog in our city, creating density and depth.” The other simple components will include chromed columns, steel plates, snap buttons, wire, and a wooden platform.


Other winning proposals from the festival include a compostable stage for street theater and giant-sized furniture.


Fogplane, Tragicocomedia, Huffington Post


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