A web design and development studio

I am sad to announce today that Fer­al has left San Fran­cis­co. What began as a noble quest to reshape con­ver­sa­tions around tech­nol­o­gy, life, and cul­ture has end­ed in frus­tra­tion, acri­mo­ny, and one small civ­il suit regard­ing the keep­ing of live­stock with­in city lim­its. Ulti­mate­ly, San Francisco’s dra­con­ian munic­i­pal reg­u­la­tion codes, par­tic­u­lar­ly as they relate to def­i­n­i­tions around what is and isn’t a dwelling, were too much to over­come. Tim­my and I’s grand idea to fash­ion a new, future for­ward mixed-use devel­op­ment met resis­tance at every turn. Our ini­tial design, an exot­ic clus­ter of tem­po­rary struc­tures, anchored by a 42’ Fleet­wood Prowler fifth wheel fused with a decom­mis­sioned fish­ing ves­sel, floun­dered with lit­tle pub­lic back­ing. This, despite its obvi­ous poten­tial as a dynam­ic and mod­u­lar live/​work space in the heart of the city.

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We can’t say we didn’t try. As Tim­my and I lived in the fifth-wheel half of our new devel­op­ment off the cor­ner of 19th and Valen­cia, across from the Mis­sion play­ground, we made numer­ous attempts to fos­ter pub­lic good­will and build sup­port for our bold vision. We reg­u­lar­ly per­formed a vari­ety of out­door musi­cal acts and even went so far as to have a com­mu­ni­ty cook­out once a week, open to all. Despite our best efforts, we quick­ly became per­son­ae non gratae through­out the neigh­bor­hood. On Decem­ber 6th, then 4 months into our stay, we were shak­en awake and star­tled by a vocal group of con­cerned cit­i­zens” attempt­ing to over­turn our mobile home. Owing to Fleetwood’s supe­ri­or build qual­i­ty, we with­stood the attack, and beyond the shat­ter­ing of a win­dow by a con­tain­er of hum­mus, remained safe. 

This trau­mat­ic event forced us to ques­tion the nature of San Fran­cis­co itself, with Fer­al hang­ing in the bal­ance. We had migrat­ed there expect­ing to find a bas­tion of accep­tance and pro­gres­sive thought, and yet our own expe­ri­ence told a far dif­fer­ent sto­ry. After sev­er­al more meet­ings with city coun­cil mem­bers and var­i­ous home­own­er asso­ci­a­tions, Tim­my rec­om­mend­ed we revise our devel­op­ment plan and make some key design changes. Rather than con­struct an intri­cate, liv­ing net­work of aban­doned struc­tures and lean-tos we would instead pro­pose a crisp, Scan­di­na­vian-inspired glass and met­al office build­ing, with the boat and trail­er con­nect­ed below as a hip­ster café called Back­woods.” This design, which you can see below, was met with unbe­liev­able enthu­si­asm. We were told by one coun­cil mem­ber that this idea had some real legs” and that she would fast track devel­op­ment should we secure real estate around the Dog­patch area. 

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I left that meet­ing with a sour taste in my mouth, incensed by what I had heard. My blood began to boil at the notion that my per­son­al his­to­ry would be so thought­less­ly cul­tur­al­ly appro­pri­at­ed, while the essence of my design vision would be reduced to blah. In an impas­sioned, some­what ram­bling speech on the side­walk out­side the meet­ing, I implored each and every passer­by to stand for true cre­ativ­i­ty and inge­nu­ity in all its forms. Nev­er sur­ren­der to that face­less borg of gen­tri­fi­ca­tion,” I bel­lowed. This amoral slime bot wants to drown us all in its putrid vat of same­ness. Resist! Resist!” 

As we walked home that night, I told Tim­my that we must vote with our feet” and stand up for what we tru­ly believe in.” I rec­om­mend­ed we pre­pare the fifth wheel for imme­di­ate depar­ture. Tim­my agreed, tak­ing me by sur­prise, not­ing that while he wasn’t clear on exact­ly what my point was, he did not like the high price of piz­za in the city. For him, that was enough. To see Tim­my stand by me with such a strong, unwa­ver­ing resolve near­ly brought me to tears. The fol­low­ing morn­ing, we rolled up our awning, took our lawn chairs down off the roof, and with the help of my Aunt Edna and her pow­er­ful Dodge Ram dual­ly, head­ed west towards Stockton.

For now, Tim­my and I have returned to the only place vast enough for our many ideas, the inter­net itself. While we can no longer wel­come clients to our for­mer office, we are excit­ed to announce that come Spring we will begin host­ing vis­i­tors at a new loca­tion: A Dave & Buster’s Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty Expe­ri­ence. Here you will be able to not only inter­act with Tim­my, myself, and the team in real-time, but also play a huge assort­ment of online games using any num­ber of real­is­tic avatars. We look for­ward to build­ing this new com­mu­ni­ty with you, and chal­lenge you in advance to an inter­ac­tive game of skee ball. 

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