June 28 & 29, 11 am – 5 pm
Imaginative Foam Blocks of a Variety of Shapes and Sizes, Fabric, Tarps and Cardboard Nurture Fun, Imaginative Play
Queens, N.Y. – June 17, 2008 - Children of all ages are invited to play with hundreds of foam building blocks from Imagination Playground™, which nurtures creative play and is being planned for downtown New York City, when the Hall in the Anthony Viscusi Gallery at the New York Hall of Science is transformed into a giant playground for kids of all ages on June 28 and 29th between 11am and 5pm. This event will feature over 265 blue foam blocks of different weights and sizes, which children will be able to build structures and sculptures, tear them down, and then start all over again. They will also be able to integrate loose parts and found objects, including fabrics, tarps and reused cardboard, into the fun.
The foam blocks, designed by the Rockwell Group, are part of the architecture and design firm’s Imagination Playground™ which is being built in Burling Slip near South Street Seaport, as well as in an abbreviated form in Brownsville, Brooklyn. There are others being planned for the remaining boroughs of New York, and throughout the country. Rockwell Group first developed the design and concept for Imagination Playground™, which breaks ground this summer, to nurture creative play through a combination of loose parts, water and sand, creating an infinite number of creative play ideas and ensuring that no two visits to the play ground are ever the same. This type of design architecture allows for transformative, socio-cooperative and imaginative constructive play, which can evolve as children mature.
In partnership with KaBOOM!, the foremost national not for profit dedicated to bringing play back into the lives of children, Rockwell Group will also make their principles of unstructured free play available to any community around the country with Imagination Playground™ in a BOX. This semi-mobile kit of parts, featuring an array of loose parts, can adapt to many different site conditions such as parks, child care environments and school settings. When Imagination Playground™ in a BOX opens, it will immediately activate the environment around it, creating a playground configured by children’s play, and evolving as the community of children changes throughout the day. The first Imagination Playground™ in a BOX will be in Brownsville, Brooklyn, July 9th through Labor Day, but children will have a preview of the loose parts, including the foam building blocks that make up the kit at the New York Hall of Science!
The Imagination Playground™ Play Event will be at the Hall of Science on Saturday and Sunday, June 28 and 29, from 11 am – 5 pm in the Anthony Viscusi Gallery. The event is free with general Hall admission.
Founded over 20 years ago by David Rockwell, Rockwell Group is an award winning, cross-disciplinary 250-person architecture and design practice based in New York. Rockwell Group specializes in hospitality, culture, theater and film design. Commissions include the Elinor Bunin Film Center at Lincoln Center; a series of public school libraries for the Robin Hood Foundation’s Library Initiative, the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore; interior work and brand conceptualization of the JetBlue Airways terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport; Chambers hotel and Town restaurant (New York); W New York and W Union Square; the Kodak Theatre, home of the Academy Awards ceremony (Los Angeles); the Broadway musicals “Hairspray,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” and “Legally Blonde”; the World Trade Center Viewing Platform; and numerous restaurants around the world including Nobu Fifty Seven, Country, Bar American; Nobu (Hong Kong, Dallas, Dubai), Xen in Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills, and Gordon Ramsay’s Maze (London). His monograph, Pleasure: The Architecture and Design of Rockwell Group, was published by Universe, a division of Rizzoli Books in 2002. Spectacle, a book with Bruce Mau, was published by Phaidon Press in October 2006.
The New York Hall of Science is New York City’s hands-on science and technology center. More than 400 interactive exhibits explore the wonder and excitement of biology, chemistry and physics. Admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children (ages 2-17), college students with valid ID, and seniors (62+). For hours, directions, and other information, please visit www.nyscience.org or call 718.699.0005.
KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,400 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including an online community, regional and national trainings, grants, publications and the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play, which includes Playful City USA and the Playmaker Network – a national network of individual advocates for play. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago, Atlanta and San Mateo, Calif. www.kaboom.org.