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BostonAPP/Lab: Art in Public Places

March 26, 2015 | 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Price: This meeting is free and open to all
Where: BSA Space, 290 Congress Street, Boston

BostonAPP/Lab: Art in Public Places

Art for Play: What, Where, and For Whom?

Open-ended play is essential for human development throughout life. It is also part of the creative process, whether one is an artist, scientist, or mathematician. Yet if the built environment tells us what a culture values, the built environment in cities around the country tells us that play is something that only young children do within playgrounds and park fences.

We live in a time when more and more people are moving to urban centers. We also live in a time when there is a named disorder for lack of play -- "play-deficit disorder."

So...How can we make the public realm more playful for all generations in daily life?

What is play? Who plays? Where do we play?
• Assertion 1: Play is player-defined and directed.
• Assertion 2: Everyone needs to play.
• Assertion 3: For play to become part of everyday life, opportunities for play should occur throughout civic space, for all ages, in places minute and large.

Moving beyond the idea that play needs equipment and structures, play also occurs when people encounter surprise, wonder, or humor in a daily moment, on their way to work or school. Art can bring play into public places. The beauty of civic space is that spontaneous play can occur socially, when we make a chance encounter, sometimes anonymously, sometimes indirectly, with someone we do not know.

Join us on Thursday, March 26, 6:00PM, at BSA Space, for this special workshop on art+play+improvisation. Led by Lillian Hsu (Cambridge Arts Council), David Robert (Co-Founder, Center for Speculative Children’s Design:, and Diana Limbach Lempel (storyteller, researcher, urban planner), workshop participants will begin with a group brainstorm, and then be given materials to create one example of a playful activity that each can take home and multiply in his/her neighborhood or city, the next day or any day.

To learn more about BostonAPP/Lab: Art in Public Places, visit

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