I found some really interesting work by activist designers, artists & planners while researching for a presentation for Communication & the City.

We talk a lot about the privatization of public space, and these artists seem to work against that process in an innovative way: making work (which sometimes consists of just being) in formerly public space that is now privately owned.  They’re both from California (I’m just sayin’).

Rebar: An SF-based collective.  My two favorite projects are Park(ing) Day, where they create a temporary public part in a parking space, & COMMONspace, where they take stock of privately owned “public” spaces in downtown SF & test their limits with paraformances.  Their site has GREAT documentation.

Heavy Trash: An LA-based collective.  They made two projects, one in 1997 & one in 2005 and I can’t seem to find anything else.  The projects are great: Viewing Platforms (where you can climb up and look into gated communities) & Stair to a Park (where they created a ladder in a fenced off city park).  You’ve got to see them for yourself.