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WHAT is Prototyping?

Prototyping: (verb) to create and test an experimental model of a new idea or object.

In the context of the Mesa Prototyping Project, these experiments come in the form of artistic installations created to address community needs.


WHAT is the Mesa Prototyping Festival?

The Mesa Prototyping Festival will feature temporary installations created in response to neighbor comments and feedback collected during community walks in Phase I of this project. These installations will be available for community interaction during the one-day festival on November 13, 2021 in downtown neighborhoods southeast of Mesa Arts Center. This neighborhood celebration will feature the prototypes (installations), food, music, and artmaking activities.



See what our Prototypers are saying about their projects! 

See other projects here and here.




Join the Facebook event page


Want to get involved? Great! 

Fill out our handy interest form


Use #mesaprototyping when taking and posting photos and videos of you interacting with our prototypes and events! 


Ready to learn more? Let's go!


The Mesa Prototyping Project (MPP) asks, “How does a community design itself?” 


MPP started in 2017 with a festival featuring 22 prototypes in Downtown Mesa and graduated to a more expansive project in the neighborhoods southeast of Downtown Mesa, beginning in Spring 2019. This phase included community residencies and second-generation prototypes. The second-generation prototypes were selected from the 2017 projects, reimagined, and put on display in Downtown Mesa for four months. The community residencies included artmaking workshops that explored neighbors’ thoughts and feelings about their neighborhood and community walks, culminating in a community celebration event at Artspace Mesa Lofts in April 2019.


MPP is steered by a Task Force including City of Mesa staff, local Mesa partner organizations, and residents from the neighborhoods southeast of Downtown Mesa.


Want to see more? Check out photos from previous MPP events!

Prototyping allows us to test out creative solutions to challenges in a low cost way so that we can begin to identify more permanent ways to create more functional and inviting spaces. We want to encourage all residents to think about ways to improve the beauty and functionality of their neighborhoods, build community relationships, connect neighbors and neighborhoods to each other and cultural resources, and offer creative ways for ideas and community opportunities to be explored and celebrated. Prototyping will ideally empower neighbors to choose the change that happens in their neighborhood, building resiliency and at the same time.

In both 2017 and 2019, a community panel was formed to review applications and select prototypes. Current prototypes were selected based on how well they promote a sense of community, how engaging they are, how well they addressed neighbor comments collected during the community walks, and whether the design could be accomplished for the one day event.

Cloudy Sunday Morning
Tim Boyle
A shade structure with solar panels that respond to neighbors with shade, sun, or light depending on the time of day.
Pause and Play 3.0
Milagros Zingoni
An installation that represents the community’s ideas around the concept of play.
Piecing Together Mesa
Chrystal McConnell
A life-sized jigsaw puzzle to complete a neighborhood sidewalk. 
Bridging Broadway: Shadow Play
David Crummey
Creating interactive connections and shade as people cross Broadway Road. 
Flowering Intersection
Tara Kosciukiewicz 
An art installation to calm traffic and invite the community to help design their neighborhood.
ABNR Functional Signage
Nik Ridley
Form, art and sustainable lighting combine to benefit the neighborhood with directional signage.
Story Paths Café/Camino de Cuentos Café
Johanna Richards
Visual storytelling in a café setting where shared stories are added to the community story.

Check out photos from previous MPP events!


Check out the Event Calendar for 2021 (coming soon)


Learn about Phase I of the current project (2019 community residencies and second generation prototypes) in the final evaluation report.


Learn more about the initial project, the 2017 Main Street Prototyping Festival, in the final evaluation report.



Join the Facebook event page


Want to get involved? Great! Fill out our handy interest form. 


Help Spread the Word

Help us reach as many neighborhood residents as possible to encourage participation! Share the Facebook event, and talk to your neighbors. Contact Sarah Goedicke to request materials: 480.644.6607 or


Community Partner Opportunities

Local neighbors, businesses, restaurants, schools and community organizations are encouraged to get involved. For example, we can promote your organization/business in our marketing materials, and you can drive customers to experience the event. Let’s discuss how we can best work together to support each other as community partners. Contact Sarah Goedicke to request materials: 480.644.6607 or


Sponsorship Opportunities

Festival or project sponsorship can connect your business with new audiences. Contact Renee Lopata at or 480-644-6604 to discuss customized sponsorship.


Interested in other ways to connect with new audiences, engaging your employees and promoting your brand at Mesa Arts Center? Learn more about sponsorship and business engagement opportunities here.


Barbara Cushing, Brian Marshall and Mike Starkle