Tag : MoreLab

World Bike Forum


We are pleased to announce that Matthew Passmore will be presenting the closing keynote address at the World Bike Forum 4 in Medellín, Columbia. The conference runs from February 26th through March 1st. Matthew’s talk, on the subject of “The Bicycle as Urban Artform” will be followed by a moderated panel with Assaf Biderman (co-inventor of the Copenhagen Wheel) and Belen Bike, an urban artist.


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The Forum brings together a stunning collection of advocates, artists, scholars and practitioners from around the globe to discuss contemporary issues related to the social impact and cultural importance of the bicycle.

The roster includes such estimable figures as Janette Sadik-Kahn (Bloomberg Associates, former Transportation Commissioner of NYC), Enrique Peñalosa (former Mayor of Bogotá) and Lotte Bech (Cycling Embassy of Denmark).

From the organizers:
The theme for the 2015 edition of the World Bike Forum is “Ciudades para Todos – Cities for All”, relating to ideas geared for humans and living spaces. The forum will discuss how cities can be organized to the benefit of all it’s citizens. After all, it is not just an event for cyclists, but for the entire population.

While societies in the entire world are urbanizing they face environmental as well as social challenges. At the same time the bicycle is gaining momentum as a serious transportation option and catalyst for creating better living spaces for all humans. In this process, cycling advocacy and citizen engagement play a crucial role in employing the bicycle as a vehicle for social change and urban equity. It is time for the bicycle to take a leading role in shaping an equitable and sustainable city for all!

 The forum will be celebrating and furthering the work of various stakeholders (individuals, groups, NGOs, businesses, or government agencies) working together to bring about positive change on all levels: individual, local, regional, national and global. Collectively, we will discuss, think and plan solutions so that bicycles, pedestrians and motorists can coexist in harmony. And the more thinking heads, the better – and merrier!

If you’d like to follow the Forum on social media, the hashtag is #FMB4


Foro Mundial de la Bicicleta (World Bike Forum)
from Foro Mundial de la Bicicleta on Vimeo.

Taliesin West

We are pleased to announce that MoreLab’s Matthew Passmore will be participating in a week-long residency and public lecture series at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture located at Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Sonoran desert compound outside Scottsdale, Arizona.

The lecture is free and open to the public on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 7pm at Taliesin West.

For the remainder of the week, Matthew will be meeting with students and faculty in an informal context to discuss the evolving interplay between tactical/user-generated urbanism, public art and the governmental agencies and organizations tasked with generating the form and content of our urban public spaces.

Matthew will be staying in the “Sun Cottage” – Wright’s private quarters at the Taliesin compound.  It’s nice! See below for pictures and stay tuned for more images from the residency.

What is architecture anyway? Is it the vast collection of the various buildings which have been built to please the varying tastes of the various lords of mankind? I think not. No, I know that architecture is life; or at least it is life itself taking form and therefore it is the truest record of life as it was lived in the world yesterday, as it is lived today or ever will be lived…So, architecture I know to be a Great Spirit.
— Frank Lloyd Wright


















Taliesin West’s famed living room


FLW with Taliesin students







image by Michael Stephens
The Sun Cottage. Image by Flickr user Michael Stephens under CC license

Informal conversation at Taliesin West



Taliesin West

Taliesin West

Taliesin West


 A monumental sculpture for Portland, Oregon begins to take shape.

Since 2010, we have been developing a sculpture for the Clinton Street light rail station, along TriMet’s new Portland-Milwaukie light rail line. Situated between the Hosford-Abernethy and Brooklyn neighborhoods in Southeast Portland, the community expressed a desire for a piece that would serve as a beacon to the station, which is set back 50 feet from a six-way intersection.


Inspired by the lines and curves of abstract topological transit maps and the powerful materiality of rail, we designed a piece to celebrate both, with a soaring interlocking tower and seemingly impossible bends. To execute our vision, however, we would need to develop an entirely new method for bending railroad track to the impossible angles required by the piece. Luckily, we found a couple of fabricators in the Portland area who were up to the challenge – Jim Schmidt and Ken Mack.


3D print of the sculpture


The piece is scheduled for installation at the end of 2014 or in early 2015, and we recently took a trip to Portland to visit Jim and Ken and their team to check in on the progress. What we found was inspiring. The fabrication team has developed a cutting-edge method for bending railroad track into angles the material was never meant to achieve. The results are simple, refined, elegant and impossible. Behold:



Ken Mack’s outdoor fabrication shop near Portland, Oregon.




Fabricator Samantha “Sam” Nagmay standing with her handiwork







Handsignals announces the new McCoppin plaza

Handsignals announces the new McCoppin plaza


We are currently in full fabrication mode on a permanent public artwork – Handsignals – that will mark the entrance to McCoppin Hub, a new public plaza in a small leftover space on Valencia Street near Market in San Francisco.

Handsignals refers to the formal qualities of the numerous theater signs prevalent in the Mission District, and repurposes that vocabulary to “advertise” a new public space. Made of familiar pedestrian traffic signals and lettered brightly to mark McCoppin Hub as a new public space, Handsignals plays at the edge between art and advertising.


The New Mission Theater, an icon of Mission Street

The New Mission Theater, an icon of Mission Street


The north-facing side of the piece spells “McCoppin” in bright yellow cast aluminum lettering. On the south-facing side, Handsignals repositions the meaning of the common pedestrian traffic signal by replacing the familiar “red hand” and “walking figure” with custom symbols designed to represent themes deeply imbedded in Mission District culture.  The piece playfully explores the relationship between a community and its emblems, identity and its abstractions, the sign and its signifier. The modules will blink on and off in a slow, irregular pattern, creating new combinations of symbols in a never-ending sequence.


Handsignals in situ







MoreLab designer and fabricator extraordinaire Stefan Gougherty


Handsignals began as a Rebar project, but is now held in the steady hands of MoreLab. Installation at McCoppin Hub is currently scheduled for mid-May 2014. Come have a look!



Dia de los Muertos symbol peeks out from the MoreLab studio

Welcome to MoreLab :: A New Spinoff of Rebar



Welcome to MoreLab, a new art studio emerging from the world-renowned Rebar Art & Design Studio. Matthew Passmore, the original founder of Rebar, has created this new endeavor to continue the innovative art practice he originated in 2004.

MoreLab’s focus is on the practice of art – art in public, art in museums, art in galleries, art in space. Art that subverts the way art has been positioned in any of these contexts.

We have many rich and interesting projects on the boards. We are in your city. We are just down the street. We are around that corner you just remembered was there.

Stay with us as we continue to explore the intersection of art, design and more.