When Imagination Goes Public


When Imagination Goes Public
When Imagination Goes Public

Lot Project

Knitting the Commons


Civic Center Commons

Opening Date

June 12, 2017




Knits for Life


Trust for Public Land
Recreation and Parks Department
San Francisco Public Works
Asian Art Museum
San Francisco Main Public Library


Discretionary Funds from Local Foundation

Knitting the Commons together with yarn tree wrapping

Knitting the Commons is a temporary art project that aims to ‘knit’ together the Civic Center Commons (the Commons), the new name for Civic Center Plaza, United Nations (UN) Plaza and Fulton Street in between the Asian Art Museum and San Francisco Main Public Library.

Working closely with Civic Center stakeholders, Trust for Public Land and Knits for Life developed the large yarn tree-wrapping art installation to accomplish the goal of uniting the Commons with playful, visual elements. Knits for Life, an artist-sister-duo, is leading the design and installation with input from the community. The installation stands to remain for up to two (2) years.

Installation in two phases:

  • Phase 1, known as the “Thread” was installed in June 2017. Consisting of brightly colored bands (yellow, red and blue – Civic Center Commons colors) the intention of these wraps was to visually connect the Commons.
  • Phase 2, known as the “Clusters”, brings three clusters of Land, Sea and Air Creature themed trees to each of the three spaces of the Commons. The theme was decided by the public through in person and online voting during the month of June. Phase 2 installation will take place through the month of September 2017.
  • While installing the “Clusters”, the artists will be available to answer questions about the installation and the art of knitting. More information on the installation of Phase 2 is available under Updates.

    This project is part of the Civic Center Commons Initiative, a strategic effort led by the City of San Francisco and community partners to transform daily experiences in these public spaces and create a unified, inclusive civic “commons”. Partners are working to bring more positive activity to the area through interactive art installations and play structures, public space stewardship, new workforce development partnerships, increased food/drink options, more places to sit, and more frequent activities and events. One of the goals of this Initiative is to add visual unite the three public spaces. Knitting the Commons is the first of many efforts to make this goal a reality. For more information on the Civic Center Commons Initiative, visit civiccentercommons.org or download an overview here.





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