I am a community builder and convener.

I invite people to reimagine their cities and their relationship to place through creativity and participatory design.




[freespace] is an international movement to turn vacant spaces into temporary community and cultural hubs. Ilana co-founded [freespace] in San Francisco in 2013, and it has since spread to 10 cities in eight countries.

the hall

The Hall is an interim use project in a formerly vacant space in the heart of San Francisco's Mid-Market neighborhood. Ilana programs the space with free events for the community, non-profit fundraisers, and community-building experiences.

creative placemaking

Ilana is a placemaking practitioner, and has been active in a variety of projects from the 2015 Market Street Prototyping Festival to Camp Grounded, a summer camp for adults. She has also organized and run social impact hackathons.


Ilana speaks at academic and business conferences, universities and graduate schools, think tanks and workshops. 

Watch: Ilana at Presidio Graduate School 

Also featured at:

EARTH X Ed Tx Talks: Investing in Community as a Climate Change Mitigation Strategy | April 26, 2019

Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation: Downtown Park Opportunities Speaker Series | April 11, 2019

SF Parks Alliance Partner Conference: Crafting Community: Creating Successful Spaces through Art and Activation | March 2, 2019

Night of Ideas SF: Welcoming City | Feb 2, 2019

SPUR: Food Halls: Flash in the Pan or Here to Stay? | July 27, 2017

Urban Land Institute: Winning Public Engagement: A Case Study on 1028 Market Street | July 20, 2017

Placemaking and Civic Tech: Opportunities for Collaboration | March 16, 2016

San Francisco State University | February 25, 2016

American Institute of Architecture NEXTSF Conference | November 12, 2015

American Planning Association - California Conference | October 6, 2015

Inflection Point with Lauren Schiller radio show | Aired September 17, 2015 

Boston University Executive Development Roundtable Workshop | May 13, 2015

Pomona College | April 28, 2015

SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association) Panel | September 23, 2014

Dancer's Discourse Project Panel | August 12, 2014



Experts offer up park ideas in Redwood City | The Daily Journal | April 19, 2019

The Changemaker Who Realized Problems Couldn't Be Arrested Away | Medium | August 28, 2016

S.F. Job Fair Brings Cops, Tech and Homeless Together | Next City | August 12, 2016

SF job fair puts Tenderloin residents on track to employment | SF Chronicle | July 15, 2016

6th and Market development seeks professional artist(s) for public installation |Hoodline | February 23, 2016

The Hall Celebrates First Anniversary, Prepares for Future Development | Hoodline | November 3, 2015

'Super Pop-up' food hall feeds into SF's plans for Mid-Market | SF Chronicle | September 3, 2014

Hacktivation event seeks ways for tech to help SF Homeless | SF Chronicle | March 28, 2014

San Francisco's untouchables | SF Bay Guardian | March 25, 2014

Freespace | Channel News Asia | November 19, 2013 

Talking with the freethinker behind freespace | J. Weekly | August 29, 2013

Boxes in Space | SF Bay Guardian | August 13, 2013

Work + Play = Freespace | SF Chronicle | July 26, 2013