Archive for the ‘NYSci’ Category

Design Lab: Concept Phase Complete


We’ve just completed the concept package for Design Lab, NYSci’s new exhibition space for its 9,500 sf Central Pavilion. Largely influenced by the Maker Movement, Design Lab will serve as a space dedicated to design-based, hands-on learning.  In developing the architecture for Design Lab, we’ve thought a lot with the Museum about what the ideal environment for project-based science learning might be. Instead of creating a conventional semi-narrative exhibition space, we have moved in the direction of a community of six flexible workshops distinct in size, materials, and degree of enclosure, that will be distributed throughout the Central Pavilion

Included above are images of 1 of the 6 workshops nicknamed the “sandbox.”  A space designated for group activities, visitors will be desk-free and encouraged to spread out on the floor to build medium to large scale projects such as dowel structures, inflatable sculptures or full-scale furniture (just a few among many planned projects). Conceived of as an open arena, the workshop will incorporate stepped seating, a reading nook, and plenty of storage and display.

Stay tuned for more Design Lab updates.

Design Lab: Maker Research


Over the past few months, we’ve been collaborating with Local Projects on the schematic design for Design Lab, a new exhibition space for the New York Hall of Science scheduled to open in Spring 2014. As part of the research for this project,  we’ve been exploring the Maker Movement and how it’s transforming education. We’ve discovered a robust and dynamic culture of making, experimenting and innovation that has spread in myriad ways around the country. The manifestations of the Maker Movement are both informal (DIY blogs and makeshift workshops) to formal as we are seeing many institutions begin to codify, integrate and celebrate its lessons.

For example, shop classes are making a comeback in schools, fully equipped with laser cutters, 3D printers and lathes, and students are working on some pretty exciting projects! At Castilleja School in Palo Alto, high school girls are building a cancer screening box in their fab lab. A class of seventh graders recreated Leonardo daVinci’s complex machines using laser cutters and basic engineering. The lab is part of a larger FabLab@School initiative created by Paulo Blikstein, a Stanford University Professor and advocate of the Maker Movement, to bring cutting edge technology and learning to young people.

Seniors building a prototype for their cancer screening box

daVinci machine recreated by a group seventh graders

Paulo Blikstein introducing the MakerBot Thing-O-Matic (a 3D printer now available for around $1200)

Design Lab at the New York Hall of Science will be drawing upon the lessons, examples and energy of the Maker Movement to bring its ethos  to science learning. Over the coming months as we develop the Design Lab project, we will be blogging about more of the exciting precedents and material we come across….stay tuned!

Maker Space under construction




Construction on Maker Space is underway! Over the past week the plywood arches and first set of storage modules were installed. Phase 2 of construction will include the installation of additional storage and display units, furniture and electrical fixtures. The project will be completed and open to the public in early March.

NYSCI: Maker Space

Sketch model


Situ Studio has been commissioned by the New York Hall of Science to create a Maker Space within the iconic Central Pavilion designed by Wallace Harrison for the 1964-65 World’s Fair. The new workshop space will serve as a place for visitors to learn about scientific concepts through hands-on making. The installation will consist of a plywood 3-pin arch structure which will enclose 1,200sf of the Central Pavilion. A modular system of acoustical panels, display cases and storage units will freely tie into the structure through an array of threaded perforations. Moveable furniture elements will tuck into the plywood structure to free up the floor space as necessary.

The primary structure will be built and open to the public in mid-January, 2012.



Full-scale mock-up

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