Exhibitions Take Center Stage at Recent FamilyDay@theCenter Programs

With the close of another calendar year and 2014 just begun, there’s no better time to reflect back on our final youth and family programs in November and December of 2013. Using two exhibitions currently on view at the Center for Architecture as a launching pad, families created their own take on these utopian, imaginative, and even historical projects.Families traveled to distant cities in Asia as they toured “Practical Utopias: Global Urbanism in Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo at the sold-out FamilyDay@theCenter: Make a BetterCity. On11.23.13,CFAF Lead Design Educator Tim Hayduk led families through the exhibition, highlighting the scale and diversity of the urban projects throughout the global urban centers. Children learned about the need to densify large cities due to limited space and rising land costs – issues that also resonate here in New York. The active, vibrant urban centers connected to mass transit bear similarities to our Grand Central Terminal, World Financial Center, and the forthcoming Hudson Yards plan for Midtown West. Families also explored on their own using the family guides as a resource. Then, children received a city block on which to layout their urban interventions. Soon the new cities began to take shape with raised walkways, skywalks, green roofs, parks, plazas, and pools sprouting up in and around tall buildings. The diversity of projects created by families only highlighted the depth of inspiration garnered from the Practical Utopias exhibition.

At the FamilyDay@theCenter: Design by Kids! on 12.15.13, our “Building Connections 2013” annual exhibition of K-12 student work inspired families to develop a project around one of the eight themes on view. Catherine Teegarden, CFAF Director of Education and curator of the exhibition, gave families a brief tour of the exhibition, comprised of projects completed in our Learning by Design:NY and vacation and summer studios. The projects quickly came to life – from treehouses and green skyscrapers (Design in Nature) to bridges (Structure) and residential and commercial buildings (City Neighborhoods). Families then presented their projects alongside the design inspiration on view.

Stop by the Center for Architecture to view “Practical Utopias: Global Urbanism in Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo” through 01.18.14, and “Building Connections 2013 through 03.01.14. Or join us for our upcoming FamilyDay@theCenter: Building Bridges taking place Saturday, 01.25.14.