About this project
BY PLEDGING NOW YOU CAN HELP INCUBATE 7 EMERGING IDEAS THIS WINTER & 50+ NEXT YEAR !
Imagine a shape-shifting storefront, one space, many possibilities: from an independent arts space one week to designer fashion boutique the next; from cooking classroom on Thursday to locavore snack bar on Friday.
The miLES Storefront Transformer is a versatile set of furnishing and amenities to program any storefront - essentially a 6ft cube that can be easily transported and subdivided to roll through any storefront door. When unfolded, the Transformer provides functional elements such as shelving, partitions, tables, seats, stage, as well as infrastructure such as lighting, WIFI, power strips, speakers, projectors, and PA system so you have all the basic ingredients to create your own pop-up!
With your support we will prototype and demonstrate a miLES Storefront Transformer in action this November and December. We will transform a vacant storefront in the Lower East Side to incubate 7 pop-up ideas. The storefront transformer will continue to operate throughout next year to incubate more pop-up ideas by you and everyone!
Made in the Lower East Side (miLES) open storefronts to possibilities by creating short-term multi-use spaces as community hubs. The miLES Storefront Transformer, designed by Architecture Commons, is a set of modular furniture bundled with support services that will enhance the mission of miLES. We make it quick and easy to turn underused storefronts into anything you can imagine. We give entrepreneurs and artists an easy and affordable way to showcase their work. The neighborhood gets a variety of vibrant programmed uses in a previously vacant space. Landlords get short-term rental income and increased visibility to help them find a longer-term tenant for their space. It is a win-win proposition for multiple stakeholders.
Despite the rapid gentrification of the neighborhood, there are still over 200 vacant storefronts in the Lower East Side. Rather than wait as landlords sit on these properties, miLES activates these spaces on a short-term basis to lower the entry barrier for creative, entrepreneurial and civic projects, with the potential of converting these into longer-term sustainable uses. This initiative will transform these storefronts in this socially and economically diverse neighborhood into community spaces, temporary homes for emerging projects, and provide economic opportunities for the local neighborhood.
Started as an OpenIDEO challenge realization phase, and with the support of Fourth Arts Block, we began our pilot storefront in April 2013 and received over 100 requests for pop-ups of various uses. We have produced 14 pop-up shops, 20 pop-up classes, two design festivals, and even a pop-up film festival! We have worked with a wide range of clients from cultural institutions like the New Museum to entrepreneurs like Etsy sellers. Since then we have talked to numerous landlords, more and more co-op and smaller landlords are open to what we are proposing by popping up one month at a time and receiving income while they are still waiting for their long term tenants. But we still need more validation and support to recruit more landlords!
Your pledges will help us pay for the rent, insurance, logistics, and the fabrication of the miLES Storefront Transformer and validation for us to talk to more landlords to unlock these underused spaces.
We are empowering the community from the bottom-up and are disrupting the commercial real estate market.
After the success of our pilot in April, more landlords have opened to what we proposed and we believe that this model is a viable, sustainable, and scalable means to activate storefronts across the world.
We need your help to demonstrate that the Storefront Transformer can facilitate the activation of underused storefronts and incubate entrepreneurs, creatives, and civic activists.
Supporting our project now means we will be able to incubate more amazing ideas and create more pop-ups in the future!
Prototype: Alpha by Jack Kirby Museum & Research Center
Jack Kirby is the pre-eminent comic book creator of the 20th Century. Comic book characters and stories that Kirby created, alone and with co-creators, from Captain America, romance comics, Fantastic Four, X-Men. Thor, Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D, Hulk and others are all part of our cultural landscape, yet Kirby, who died in 1994, is relatively unknown. Our week will celebrate Jack Kirby as a cultural powerhouse who was born and raised on the Lower East Side.
Blood, Sweat & Fears NYC by Chelsea Campbell
Blood, Sweat & Fears is a live magazine showcasing undiscovered talent across the creative platforms. Translating the printed page into a live event - Blood Sweat & Fears will bring to life articles, features and performances to create a living magazine. Blood, Sweat & Fears NYC will be the second edition of the live magazine, continuing from the London edition in 2010. Issue two of the magazine will feature artists living and working in NYC whose work features during an allotted time. Existing works are adapted to suit the environment or new works created specifically for the installation.
Brooklyn Brainery Takes Manhattan by Jen Messier and Jonathan Soma of Brooklyn Brainery
Brooklyn Brainery is hosting a one-week crash course on everything from your grandma's favorite crafts to bookish intellectualism. Expect hands-on classes like block-printing and soap-felting, lectures on New York City history and your favorite foods, and real-life skills like storytelling and public speaking. It’s time to bring a bit of Brooklyn to Manhattan!
The Pop-Up Non-Profit - Creating a pop-up home for the street-based organization The Space at Tompkins by The Space at Tompkins
The Space at Tompkins is a non-profit organization committed to helping transient homeless youth and adults in New York City. During our week with miLES, we were excited to test the concept of co-sharing a space with different wellness programs and healthcare practitioners to show how many different ways a space can be used to support not just a single organization, but the community as a whole. This creative, collaborative solution to a work-space challenge opens new opportunities for us internally as well as creating chances to partner with other organizations that have goals which are complimentary to ours.
Makers Salon - One week of open workspace, hands-on classes, discussions and making experiences around the evolution of DIY and craft - from hand to machine to tech - by Kollabora with Guest Curator Hsing Wei from The Makery
From hand to machine to tech - the art of making has evolved to both keep up with and reflect our ever-changing world. While we have new tools and technology that can automate, the drive to craft something with our hands has endured out of necessity as well as out of desire. Join us for a week of open lab workspace, hands-on classes, project workshops, and discussions on DIY crafting and fabricating with traditional and new materials as we celebrate our love of creativity, collaborative making and learning!
stopTHINKshop is a pop-up store that showcases highly edited social good products that all make an impact. Beyond their aesthetics and function, every item in the curated collection has been consciously designed through the lens of sustainability and/or ethical production. The shop will highlight products whose commitment to creativity parallels their commitment to community.
Featherbed Lane by Ghetto Gastro
Ghetto Gastro is a culinary collective and a guerrilla movement that is fueling the future of food. Our team is comprised of chefs: Lester Walker (Food Network Chopped Champion), Malcolm Livingston II (2013 STAR CHEF RISING STAR, 2013 ZAGAT 30 UNDER 30) and Dan Levin.
Featherbed Lane will be a one-of-a-kind deli experience, taking cues from the South Bronx bodegas and Arthur Ave bakeries the we frequented coming of age in the 90s. There will be a mix of "hood foraged" candies, sodas, and sandwiches. The sandwiches will be made with homemade deli meats and charcuterie, bread will be baked fresh daily. House made pastries and frozen desserts will be served as well. After Hours, Featherbed Lane will transform into a private social club where we will host unique VIP experiences.
Architecture & Urban Strategy by Architecture Commons
Architecture Commons is a design practice advocating design for the masses. Using architectural production, we create of cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary work towards creating a multitude of work that embody the nature of our pluralistic and multiplicitous society.
Journalism by Imagination in Space
Imagination in Space creates pop ups in New York City and London and covers the pop up world on imaginationinspace.com. They're currently gearing up forAmerican Dreams, a 10-day art pop up and live auction kicking off Oct 14 in London. To collaborate onAmerican Dreams or future projects, reach out to email@example.com.
An app for the urban art explorer by Musey
MUSEY is a website and mobile app that connects audiences and artists. It even allows appreciative audiences to tip artists in real-time. Our mission is to help everyone see the value of the art and events all around them, while disrupting the existing relationship between art & culture and value.
Fabrication by MachineMade
Design manufacturing from prototype to production. With designers, architects, and pro makers in mind, MachineMade.com allows users to digitally explore a variety of machine services (CNC Milling, CNC Routing, Laser Cutting/Engraving, Waterjet Cutting) and materials, providing a mix and match capability to simplify the process of fabrication and product realization.
Fast Company CoExist: Want to Open a Pop-up Shop? The Storefront Transformer Box has everything you need
Fast Company CoDesign: A Modular Kit to Transform Empty Storefronts into Pop-Up Shops
ThisIsStory: GoodSTORY: miLES Storefront Transfer Project
Bedford + Bowery: It happened: A Pop-up Popped-up in a Pop-up
Bowery Boogie: Recap: FAB! Festival on 4th Street
Columbia Spectator: miLES to go: New Startup Launches Kickstarter to fund Pop-ups
ULI Urban Land Institute New York: Pop-up Retail Activating Underutilized Spaces Across NYC
Arup Connect: Changing Neighborhoods, Transforming Storefronts
Inhabitat New York: Mobile Pop-Up Shop Kit Transforms Vacant Storefronts into Instant Community Hubs
Past miLES Pop-ups:
Risks and challenges
We had demonstrated a lot of demand with pop-ups. However, on the supply side, landlords are still predominantly favoring a long-term lease model and we are in constant competition with long-term tenants for the same properties. We had a few storefronts lined up that we can use for our two month pop-up this winter, but the actual storefront that we will use for November and December can only be secured last minute. Therefore we have not revealed the actual location of where we will be popping up!
For pledges that are in the "Create your own pop-up" category. For the One-day pop-ups, miLES will be assigning a time that for these a storefront that we specify in the LES, certain limitations apply for the uses. For the Weekly and Monthly uses, we will be assigning the time for our Storefront Transformer to be delivered to your location. We will not be responsible for any legal implications of operating your programs with our furniture at your location.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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- (30 days)