Nova Kaleidoscope Playhouse, SOFTlab, New York City, December 2015

Things I’d like to see on the playground…in my ongoing quest to inspire more use of reflective and chromatic surfaces–optically active stuff–on the playground I’m inspired by the holiday commission for the Flatiron district in New York City:  a grown-up playhouse, really, that features kaleidoscopic facets and sound-responsive LEDs.   The color effects come from the use of 3M Dichroic film on the interior; a relatively inexpensive material that playscape designers should be using!   Another great feature of Nova is the apertures in the exterior that frame iconic landmarks of the neighborhood.  Playgrounds should always PLAY LOCAL by including unique aspects of their site’s history and surroundings, and adding intentional viewpoints to other urban features is a great way to do this.  The Nova installation is by SOFTLab, commissioned by the Van Alen Institute, and it’s temporary, so make sure you experience it before Christmas!


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