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MKThink Hosts AIA Tour 2023

When A'23, the American Institute of Architects' (AIA's) annual convention was held in San Francisco this June, MKThink was selected to lead a tour of our office and community space at Ocean Plant on San Francisco's Richmond Edge. CEO Nate Goore led a discussion with AIA members about our concept for catalyzing human interaction and building community strength. Our discussion centered around several key questions:

  • Can we catalyze community through place and program?

  • What are the key ingredients to make the concept transportable to other locations?

  • Can the concept scale?

  • Can neighborhoods lead to the reinvention of the central business district?

As an organization committed to research and analysis supported solutions, we conducted a series of survey and sensor-based analyses to better understand the performance of the space. Key findings include:

  • 2/3 of visitors are between 19 and 35

  • 60% are from the neighborhood

  • 28% visit more than once per week, and another 28% were first time visitors (the space has been open for 6 months)

  • "The beach," "coffee," and "the vibe" were the top reasons identified for visiting, reinforcing the impact of combining local environment, experience, and offering.

  • 2/3 of visitors who came alone cited, "I like being around others even if I don't know them," as the primary reason for their visit.

By putting our ideas into practice and analyzing the results, we are developing foundational principles for rebuilding community strength and creating a blueprint for others to adapt to their own communities.

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