Struck by the disparity that exists as a result of changing economic times and growth LINK serves to reconnect a community whose storied history demands reconciliation. While researching the diverse neighborhood, the studio had the opportunity to meet with community leaders who inspire change within the SOFA district every day. These leaders spoke of many problems including buearocracy and financial woes. The physical manifestation that many people are left dealing with is the prevalence of empty storefronts – a reminder of more prosporous times.

By drawing inspiration from the grassroots approach that many bicycling groups take throughout the country, the LINK project serves to bridge the gap and blur the boundary between what creates community which in a broad sense boils down to occupation and activity. The SOFA district has a lot of positive things going on already – a thriving art scene, busy nightlife, proximity to a major university, mixed use development and excellent public transportation within the technological capital of the world, San Jose. While the SOFA district thrives in many respects – it’s the daylife and active life of the community member that is not being met.

The LINK project addresses the need for community building through creating a bicycle kitchen where people can come together to teach and learn about bikes and enjoying them. This “kitchen” is available to the community and also ts into the sphere of activity already networked within the district. LINK addresses these exsisting attractors by positioning itself within a gallery setting, by being a small performance space and by being a place that people can hang out in during the day.

By creating a programmatic mashup of aligned interests we hope to enhance the lives of the residents of the SOFA district and attract visitors to help brand the neighborhood as a destination where interesting things still happen. Our project is named LINK due to the nature of this bridging that we hope that the project will create.


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