The Urban Conga Inc.
New Orleans, LA
Our final idea to create easily accessible opportunities for low income kids and families in the Lower Ninth ward is "The Hangout" an interactive play space that sparks creativity, exploration, and free-choice learning. The space will transform the area by focusing on certain senses such as sight, sound, and touch to create an active communal space.
Music is a big part of New Orleans so we wanted to incorporate sound as a way to play and create. Each platform that is touched makes a specific note or sound that allows the community to begin to create songs and small concerts with the piece. Also safety is a huge issue in the Lower Ninth, so we focused on having the piece to act as source of lighting for the block at night. As kids and families begin to play and touch the pieces the lights begin to change, and the space becomes this magical musical light show rather than a dreary path taken by many to go to work, run errands, go to school, and much more. The different leveled platforms not only provide a unique designed play space, but allow for different levels of seating and interaction on the installation. We don't want to just create a play space that people play on once, but a space that people keep coming back to as a communal gathering space.
The site we are intending to put the space is the Lower ninth ward's only grocery store, barber shop, and laundromat. This is a spot that people consistently travel to take care of their daily needs. It is also right off of one of the only bus route that runs through the Lower Ninth ward. We intend for this installation to add to the already strong communal space that exists in this area.
- Ryan Swanson