ds4si website redesign art commission extended!

New art commission open at the Studio!

DS4SI is excited to announce a new art commission, open to artists and art teams interested in working with us to redesign our current website. We are looking for experienced web designers who can partner with us to create a more vibrant and interactive site for us and our visitors. For full details on how to apply, click the PDF below:

DS4SI Art Commission--Website Redesign

And please take note of the new final deadline for applications--June 18th!

Public Kitchen @ "Living as Form (The Nomadic Version)"

The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (CCVA) joins Creative Time and Independent Curators International (ICI) to present a customized iteration of Living as Form (The Nomadic Version). Free and open to the public, the exhibition surveys groundbreaking works from around the world that together register one of the most important developments in recent art history: the rise in the last twenty-five years of a renewed sphere of artistic practices that blur the lines between art and everyday life in projects emphasizing political concerns, participation, and forms of dialogue.

February 7—April 6, 2014
Main + Sert Gallery

Thursday, February 6
6-8 pm
Opening reception with the artists
with performances by Tomashi Jackson and Caitlin Berrigan

(you can visit their facebook event.)

DS4SI Black History Month Series 2014

We're excited to announce the 3rd annual DS4SI Black History Month Series. This year our theme is "REEL Blackness" This series explores black creativity through film. It's particularly geared to creatives looking to explore or venture into some aspect of video, film, acting, etc.  In addition, we'll conclude the series with a special tribute to Nelson Mandela.and a look forward to how his legacy can create a "regeneration of liberation."

As usual, it will happen every Tuesday night in February and include good food and great conversation. Hope you can join us and our fabulous hosts and presenters!

New Vision Lab video

Vision Lab was the centerpiece of The Praxis Project's Roots & Remedies 2 national gathering in San Antonio, Texas during the summer of 2013. Over two days, Vision Lab brought together the approximately 200 participants and challenged them to imagine a future based on winning the social justice battles of today. For more on this DS4SI creativity lab, click here

And thanks again to the Praxis Project, their Communiities Creating Healthy Environments initiative, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Thanks also to our talented video team Erroll, Eddie and Dave.

Join us to weigh in on Upham's Corner Art Commission!

Come join us and help choose from the five finalists! Below are opportunities to hear directly from the artists and weigh in on what you'd like to see for a permanent art piece for Upham's Corner. (On Tuesday January 21st you can come right to the Studio...)

This process is led by DSNI with partners: Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), the Boston Foundation, Boston Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Boston Public Art Commission, Cambridge Arts Council, Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI), the Dorchester Arts Collaborative (DAC), Fairmount CDC Collaborative, Greater Four Corners Action Coalition, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, National Trust for Historic Preservation, New England Foundation for the Arts, New Market Business Association, and Upham’s Corner Main Streets (UCMS).

For more information, check out DSNI's Upham's Corner ArtPlace page.  

Public Kitchen III Coming!

Got a favorite recipe you want to teach others? Got an ingredient you don't know how to cook? Come join us for Public Kitchen III...a chance to join neighbors and homegrown chefs of Upham's Corner and Dudley Street as we cook and eat together. Fresh ingredients will be provided by local farms, and if there's one you never liked (beets?), you might learn just the way to hook it up! For more information on each day, keep an eye on the facebook.com/publickitchen.

Public Kitchen is a partnership led by interested residents, supported by local farmers, DS4SI, The Food Project, Upham's Corner ArtPlace, DSNI, The Boston Foundation and ArtPlace America.

NCAA's Net Works and Maria Molteni knitting nets for hoops...


Brought to participants via traveling workshops, pick up games and internet cataloguing, the NCAA is a craftivist collective that addresses public space, diversity, collaboration, feminism, and interdisciplinary learning through the "Net Works" project. The collective assembles hand­made basketball nets for abandoned hoops, usually via knit and crochet, to build proactive inclusive relationships between artists, athletes, and neighbors. Here the form and function of the “street” and the “domestic” collide in hand­-made tactical aesthetics that express dissidence and generate new approaches to public space. 

Their works of art have been up on outdoor courts around the world. Learn more about "NCAA" the New Craft Artists in Action and support their kickstarter!

Tweet @YarnOverTime #NCAANetWorks


Calling all artists!

Upham's Corner ArtPlace, in collaboration with residents and a broad range of community-based partners, is seeking to commission a professional artist, artisan, architect, landscape architect, or teams thereof to create artwork for permanent display in the Upham’s Corner neighborhood of Dorchester as part of the exciting increase in transit access along the Fairmount Corridor. Strong preference will be given to a local artist from the Upham’s Corner community, from Dorchester and permanent residents of Boston. Strong preference will also be given to artists who demonstrate an interest in, and experience with, identifying, training and paying local apprentices in community-led art making processes.

The selected artist(s) will facilitate a community centered and led visioning, design, site selection, fabrication and installation process that uplifts the local identity and celebrates the richness of the neighborhood and its residents. The budget is up to $500,000 over the course of the project, with $100,000 already secured for Phase 1.

For all the submission guidelines, click here.


October 30th, 5:30pm, 1946 Washington St, 2nd floor

For more information about coming to the information session that we're hosting, contact us at: art [at] ds4si [dot] org.



Week 2 of STREET LAB: UPHAM'S was action-packed. It started with carpenters Ben and BJ (here with DS4SI lead staff Ayako) volunteering their time to build out 3 benches to test in response to residents' numerous requests for bus stop seating in the heart of Upham's.

Artist Cedric Douglas spray-painted the benches and two volunteers tested them for sturdiness...

We also tested household furniture...

Ready for next week? We've got builders, yarn-bombers, visionaries and more...

Come join us to take on the alley and keep improving bus stop seating... This Saturday from 12-5.

STREET LAB: UPHAM'S--starts this Saturday!

Calling all artists, makers, residents & merchants! Upham's Corner is ready to host Dorchester's first tactical urban lab, and a chance to imagine new possibilities for small public spaces in and around Upham's...

Contact us if you'd like to be involved to share your ideas, tools, and/or expertise!

streetlab [at] ds4si [dot] org         See you Saturday!

STREETLAB: UPHAM'S is part of Upham's Corner ArtPlace and is funded through ArtPlace America and the Boston Foundation.


We're looking for artists, makers, residents, merchants, families, youth, handy-folks, etc!

Tactical urbanism refers to quick, often temporary, affordable projects that aim to make a small part of a city more livable, lively or enjoyable. The aim of STREET LAB: UPHAM'S is to put tactical urbanism in the hands of the community by creating an open lab where community members can step in, work with local artists, designers and builders to prototype and re-imagine everyday aspects of public space. This will take place in the heart of Upham's Corner as part of Upham's Corner ArtPlace.

STREET LAB: UPHAM'S is looking for local residents interested in joining us to learn, as well as more experienced creative people from near and far. (Stipends are available for experienced makers from the greater Upham’s area who can join us for at least four Saturdays!)

If you have any of the following skills and are interested in working on small projects in Upham’s this fall, we would love to meet you!

 - Basic to advanced construction skills
 - Experience in a metal shop, woodshop/ wood working
 - Carving
 - Jig making
 - Sewing, crochet, knitting
 - Fabric work

 Or if you are a
 - Furniture maker
 - Bike mechanic
 - Carpenter
 - Welder

Come join us! For more information, contact us via email (streetlab@ds4si.org), facebook (facebook.com/ds4si)  or twitter (@ds4si).


STREET LAB: UPHAM'S and Upham's Corner ArtPlace are funded by ArtPlace America and the Boston Foundation.

Roots & Remedies 2013...Imagining a Future Transformed by our Victories

The Design Studio had the opportunity to join over 200 activists from around the country in San Antonio this past weeked for Roots & Remedies 2, aka "Connect. Plot. Build." As Makani Themba, Executive Director of The Praxis Project, explained, "“From the Dreamers to the Dream Defenders, to the striking food and retail workers, people are standing up for justice all over the country, and, in fact all across the world. Roots & Remedies is the space where we bust out of the traditional silos, and create the space for organizers to strategize on their own terms.”

DS4SI helped break the silos down with a Vision Lab that took participants ahead to 2113 and a chance to work together to envision a future transformed by our victories of today...

More photos and video coming soon... More on the conference at Roots & Remedies.

MPPP--What folks shared with us

After weeks of dissecting mounds of data, our talented project managers, Diego Perez Lacera and Corina McCarthy-Fadel teamed up with graphic designer Mikey Guadarrama to share back to you and the community what folks had to say about Uphams and the planning processes impacting their neighborhood.

For the FULL REPORT (including all raw data), CLICK HERE.

Once again, for the FULL REPORT (including all raw data), CLICK HERE.

And many thanks to our amazing artists--Cedric Douglas and Philippe Lejeune, our gracious hosts--Uphams Corner Main Street and the Strand, our program support--MIT's Civic Media Lab Co-Design Class, DSNI and Ines Soto-Palmarin, and our generous funders--The ArtPlace Initiative, The Boston Foundation, The Surdna Foundation and Open Society Foundation.

Data Synthesis for Making Planning Processes Public

Data synthesis is underway! We spoke with hundreds of residents of Uphams Corner about the planning processes happening in their home during the MPPP exhibit. We are accounting the information gathered from residents and preparing to give it to the agencies involved in the planning processes. A full report is on the way. Here is a sample of what residents have to say: