Alison Sant is a co-founder and partner in the Studio for Urban Projects, an interdisciplinary design collaborative that works at the intersection of architecture, urbanism, art, and social activism. Research, public programming, and prototyping are at the heart of the Studio’s practice. Their projects aim to provoke change by reframing perceptions of the city and experimenting with the design of urban systems. Engaging with the broad themes of ecology and urbanism, their work brings together experts in the field in a cross-disciplinary dialogue around the questions that shape our urban landscapes. The Studio for Urban Projects has been commissioned by the San Francisco Planning Department, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Exploratorium, Berkeley Art Museum, Zero One San Jose, SPUR, Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs and Eyebeam Art & Technology Center, New York. They have recently been Artists-In-Residence at the Exploratorium’s Bay Observatory and the Headlands Center for the Arts.
Their current projects focus on developing a series of modular and easily deployable architectures to attract native oysters and cultivate eelgrass for the San Francisco Bay, in collaboration with scientists from San Francisco State’s Estuary & Ocean Science Center. The project, called the Living Shorelines, aims to create buffers to storm surges and rising tides while helping to restore biodiversity. The Studio for Urban Projects is also currently collaborating with Bionic Landscape, WXY Studio, and PennDesign as part of the Bionic Tem for the Bay Area Resilient By Design Challenge.
Sant is working on a forthcoming book entitled From the Ground Up: The Local Movement to Create Resilient Cities, published by Island Press. She currently teaches at the California College of the Arts, the San Francisco Art Institute and the College of Environmental Design, University of California Berkeley on the topics of tactical urbanism,community engagement and environmental sustainability. She received her BFA from New York University in the Departments of Photography and Interactive Telecommunications and received her Masters in Design at the College of Environmental Design, University of California Berkeley.