A pro-bono design-build made of salvaged materials.
In June of this past year, many urban establishments across the nation boarded up their storefronts in response to the damage associated with the protests over police brutality and justice for Black lives. Though in many places, the plywood used to board up these storefronts was embraced as canvases for meaningful and beautiful street art, there still was an abundance of bare wood enveloping many streetscapes. Seeing opportunity to re-channel this wood back into the community through its reuse, myself and a group of eight friends began collecting unwanted plywood from store owners as they reopened. Thus Workshop 9 was founded.
With social and environmental justice at our forefront, Workshop 9 is recycling this plywood into a public parklet on International Blvd to help a local Mexican restaurant continue operations during the pandemic and to serve the Fruitvale neighborhood at large. Partnering with Oakland Indie Alliance, Bay Area Redwood, and Semar Prom's personal tool supply and sage advice, the parklet has been a part of the City of Oakland's Flex Street program and entirely pro-bono. We hope it is just the first of many more design-builds for Workshop 9.
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