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Our City Oakland Fair, Block by Block

Oakland, CA

Gensler’s “Block by Block” was one of twelve projects selected for installation. Working with Skanska volunteers, Gensler designed and built a 12’ by 12’ open box made of plywood. The small scale “Block by Block” project underlined and sublimated the transformative Oakland urban landscape of the moment, particularly within the localized city street grid painted on the ground representing Uptown and Downtown. Exhibit guests were provided wooden blocks to build unique structures in any shape, scale, style, and encouraged to commemorate their hopes for Oakland by inscribing them on the building blocks. Analogous to a fountain coin-toss, the written messages on the stackable pieces represented not only the duality between a temporary space and an everlasting idea, but the power of that particular idea to feed to a larger vision that belongs to a community whole.