Families Envision NYC 2040

Students explore GLIMPSES.

Kristi Tremblay

Families gathered at the Center for Architecture on 07.09.11 to explore the Center’s summer exhibition, GLIMPSES: New York and Amsterdam in 2040. The exhibition, on display in both cities, presents architects’ and landscape architects’ visions for a sustainable urban future, developed by five Dutch and five New York design teams. Participating firms were asked to focus on five basic human needs — breathing, moving, eating, making, and dwelling — as they considered how to address issues related to global warming, including rising water levels, climate change, and population growth.

Using the Foundation’s Family Guide, children and their parents toured the exhibition and discussed the realistic and fanciful strategies shown for generating power, moving and making goods, housing people, and improving our urban environment. Kids especially enjoyed the projects that included futuristic ideas, such as robots manning recycling centers, as well as bucolic images of a greener view of the cities.

The workshop following the exhibition tour was an opportunity for participants to develop their own visions of what their city might look like in 30 years if they were able to redesign it to create a healthier urban environment. With mixed media such as watercolors, magazine cutouts, and drawing, families created large images modeled after those in the exhibition. They also created a simple cardboard frame and mounted their own “GLIMPSES” exhibition in the workshop space itself.

Although the kids’ exhibition was quickly dismounted, families are encouraged to come and do a self-guided tour using the Foundation’s printed Family Guide, which helps explain the exhibition to young visitors and gives them opportunities to respond to the work and create their own drawings and designs.

The Foundation offers Family Days once a month on Saturday at the Center for Architecture. The next program, Exploring Governors Island, will be held on Governors Island on 08.20.11. The Foundation also offers after-school, vacation, and summer programs for students in grades 3-12. For more information about Programs@theCenter, visit the website or contact Catherine Teegarden at cteegarden@cfafoundation.org.