This project represents the social classes of San Francisco society, but it reflects the basic societal structure of most of the cities in the world as well. People are the key to building a society or a city. They affect city planing, politics, economy, history, culture, sociology, and anthropology. San Francisco in particular, “… is one of the most unequal urban areas, and its income inequality is growing the fastest in the nation,” as stated by Adam Hudson in Truthout. One of the reasons is because of all the young tech workers migrating to the city. In California’s Silicon Valley, Facebook, Google and Apple have hundreds of new tech millionaires who keep moving to San Francisco. But not far away, the homeless are building tent cities along a creek in the city of San Jose.
As a result, apartments and houses in San Francisco are extremely pricey. Gentrification happens, displacement/ eviction sometimes occur in force, income inequality is growing, nonprofits and organizations that help communities are struggling, the homeless population is increasing, and police are cracking down on the poor. Even “the minimum wage, which is the highest in the country…is barely enough to live.” Therefore, eventually people who cannot effort the rent might have to move out or end up living on a street instead.
There are 5 prominent social classes in San Francisco. There is the lower class, which is known to be impoverished, homeless, unemployed, and lacking education. Next is the working class, which is considered to be laborers or blue-collar workers. There is a lower middle class and also an upper middle class; usually the lower middle class has less of an education and lower income, whereas the upper middle class workers have a good education and a great job with high income. Finally, the upper class which is comprised of only 1 to 3 percent of the United States population and holds more than 25 percent of the nation’s wealth, including the “old money” and the “new money”. Old money belongs to the most prestigious and were born into wealth, while the “new money” is the result of investment and business ventures.
Keeping that in mind, I would like to show the high contrast between the “lowest” and the “highest” community that the city could possibly have by depicting its people and their identity in private/ intimate spaces. I created this social classes apartment model to emphasize the inequality problem in San Francisco and the homeless in high tech’s shadow issue. My intention is to have this model capture the soul of each class through different type of “bed,” which is one of the most important things that can identify class to the audience. By doing so, we can learn more about the values, relationships, and meanings that shape the environment and define identity of the people and society, as well as the current problem.