Open Architecture Collaborative

Design Dash Project Lead Details

Design Dash Logistics

Design Dash is a community engagement placemaking program to build resident ownership and address issues of blight, pedestrian safety, and civic disinvestment in public spaces around the San Pablo commercial corridor of West Oakland. Design Dash is one small part of a larger initiative to cultivate comprehensive neighborhood health, the San Pablo Area Revitalization Collaborative (SPARC), led by EBALDC since 2014 and run by a group of local leaders. This is currently the third year Design Dash will be run, but the first in partnership with the Open Architecture Collaborative.

This year’s Design Dash will conduct outreach to neighborhood associations, youth groups, arts organizations and community based organizations, to surface ideas for up to 6 public placemaking projects, each given up to $1,000 in seed funding and project management support. The projects will be implemented by the end of the program following a series of events and team development over the course of four months.

The goal of Design Dash is to train and support up to six teams of four to eight community members through the process of creative placemaking. The outcome will be up to six small scale projects or community building events, built along the San Pablo Avenue between Grand Ave. and 35th streets that address quality of life issues faced by local residents. Ideally these team leaders continue to be active and vocal members of their communities.

This year the OAC will be responsible for training the inter-disciplinary, and cross cultural cohort of team leaders on issues including power and privilege reflection, engagement tactics, cultural expression, and conflict resolution. The aim is to hold the space for designers and artists to work alongside local residents, students and community organizers to develop a deep connection while co-creating a valuable community resource.

The methodology that will be used for the Design Dash will be a series of actions; first, to build awareness of the opportunity, to hold the space for collective creativity, to guide the development of the project with subject matter experts, and finally to support the production of the final products. In practice Garrett and Annie will start by conducting email and phone outreach for the first month of the program. Past partners and potential new partners along the corridor will be the targets. Following three weeks of outreach, in person interviews will be conducted with all those committed to becoming a community partner. Once the committed partners are identified the general leadership of the SPARC team will help select the official partners.

Once the partners are selected, the OAC and EBALDC will facilitate a brainstorming event to match the community partners with subject matter experts consisting of designers, planners and artists. This day long event will be a celebration of creative placemaking to build trust and a sense of collaboration amongst the project partners and participants. After the Design Dash kickoff event the OAC will work closely with each group providing them support to develop their idea and a real buildable project or event, Trainings with guest experts on various community building skills throughout the two month period will be held for the team leaders.

The projects will be executed in the final month of the program. If the outcome is deemed to be an event it will take place at this point and if the result is a built project or artwork it will also be constructed here. At this point we will encourage group leaders to engage more residents in the construction process to improve neighborhood participation.


  • July 1-25 1-on-1 info meetings with potential partners as needed
  • July 25 Deadline to commit via Design Dash partner agreement
  • July 25-Aug 11 Interview/ visioning session with your team & SPARC Community Partners do outreach to additional participants and constituents
  • Aug 12, 10-1pm Public Design Dash Event, 3431 San Pablo Ave
  • Aug 16, 5-8pm Optional group planning session for all teams, 3431 San Pablo Ave
  • Sep 13, 5-8pm Optional group planning session for all teams, 3431 San Pablo Ave - Final project plan & budget due.
  • Oct 11, 5-8pm Optional group planning session for all teams, 3431 San Pablo Ave
  • Nov 15, 5-8pm Optional group planning session for all teams, 3431 San Pablo Ave
  • Dec 10, by 5pm All final project reporting due.
  • Dec 13, 6-7:30pm All teams, final presentation and celebration, 3431 San Pablo Ave.
  • If you are interested in signing up to become a project leader, volunteer for the kickoff event on August 12th, or to be a drop in builder in October please fill out this form