The Urbia Team

San Franciscans Barbara Corff and Damien Raffa have long held a passion for creatively connecting people and place. For more than a decade their respective educational and interpretive work has focussed on the world’s largest urban national park (hint: it’s very close by), resulting in numerous collaborative public projects. In 2007 they were profoundly inspired by their encounter with “Questing,” a popular form of community engagement in New England.

The History of Place-based Adventuring

“Questing” was born out of a 150-year old tradition of hiding and locating hidden boxes in the rugged moors of southwest England. This exploring game evolved into a popular and widespread tradition called “Letterboxing.” Communities and clubs formed around finding and creating thousands of boxes hidden in both natural and cultural locations throughout Great Britain.

In the United States, the Questing idea caught on and spread from east to west by the Vermont based “Vital Communities” organization. URBIA is a new branch on the growing Bay Area tree of this sense-of-place phenomenon.


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