LEGO Debuts Playground Built By The Imaginations Of Children
By Mikelle Leow, 12 Aug 2022
LEGO and play go hand in hand, so it comes as almost no surprise that the toymaker has built a playground in the heart of West Harlem in New York. And who better to guide its design along than the most creative minds on the block, children?
The new Fly Away Isles installation, located at 140 Hamilton Place, between W. 143rd and W. 144th Streets, was brought to life by contemporary artist Hebru Brantley. It sits outside the space of youth development nonprofit The Brotherhood Sister Sol (BroSis), whose kids were consulted to dream up their ideal playground.
Using LEGO bricks, local children conveyed ways play could be further incorporated in the neighborhood, and Brantley materialized their ideas into the real world with a rocket lifting into the clouds, volcano-inspired pyramids, and stepping stones between islands, along with brand experience agency Amplify. Needless to say, optimism and unbridled creativity were some of the other materials used for this playscape.
Fly Away Isles was created following research by the LEGO Group which found that 82% of children in New York wished they could play more, with 29% of US parents acknowledging that there could be more opportunities for play in the family.
The interactive artwork aims to introduce more playtime in underprivileged areas “and areas where play is missing,” says LEGO.
“The new accessible, inclusive, and creative space takes visitors on a cosmic journey as they come together to experience the joy of seeing the world through the eyes of children,” the toymaker adds in the news release.
Brantley’s art style taps on nostalgia and hope to address important issues in positive ways, often challenging the observer to look at the world through others’ eyes. The playground also serves as the backdrop for his first-ever mural in New York.
“I wanted to create something that offered the local community a chance to come together regardless of their background or culture, leave the pressures of the busy world we live in behind and explore what the work looks like through the optimistic eyes of children,” explains the artist.
The playground joins LEGO’s massive 90th-anniversary bash, which includes the launch of its largest store in the world and a bird’s-eye labyrinth of a giant Minifig. It will stay open until November 5, 2022, with the mural remaining up till July 2023.
After which, the playground “will remain in situ as a legacy for years to come” and a reminder of the importance of play, LEGO tells DesignTAXI.
“It felt only fitting for the brand’s 90th Anniversary that we put kids in the driver seat to help us inspire and bring more play into the world,” says Alero Akuya, VP of Global Brand at the LEGO Group. “We hope the awesome new playscape Hebru [Brantley] and the children have created here in Harlem inspires those of all ages to experience the creativity, imagination, and joy of play.”
The installation opened on August 10, 2022, which LEGO has inaugurated as its very own World Play Day.
[via LEGO, images courtesy]
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