The month of May saw three ExpoTENtial labs open around Manhattan. Curated by Laetitia Wolff/futureflair, the multi-dimensional platform/festival delves seeks insights on how design can help innovate city living. Addressing everything from urban composting with worms, to using the everyday streetscape for exercise through parcours, Wolff and team stirred up traditional notions of living in NYC by encouraging visitors to think “off the grid.” In the Par Corps Lab, the crew uses video collage to ponders the manner in which design can promote physical activity and social interaction. Multipurpose bike racks anyone? Today and tomorrow will be the last chance to check it out at the Center for Architecture. Wolff is currently attempting to raise funds for the next seven labs.
Earlier this month we popped by the Hug a Worm Lab during the Festival of Ideas. There, kids had a chance to become familiar with the hard working eisenia fetida, i.e. the red wriggler worm. The prime thrust of this exhibit booth was to encourage composting throughout the city, while celebrating “the endearing quality of worms” who transform piles of compost into healthy soil. Kids can still apply what they learned through July: a pilot program being run by GrowNYC is collecting compost materials at Greenmarkets throughout the city.
In NoHo, the Urban Alchemy Lab attempted to reengage residents with their environment. Inspired by the alleys indicative of the area, project directors wanted to know about the participant’s personal alleyways. They asked each the same question: “Where do you most feel at peace?” Answers ranged from “in love” to “swimming”. The participants were then video-recorded and their silhouette was projected onto a blank wall across the street, where it was filled with text from their answer to the question.