In an attempt to better engage the youngest visitors to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, Torafu Architects created a special art gallery just for kids called Haunted House. On entering the exhibition a few familiar artworks appear hung in frames around a large white cube, but something is clearly amiss as everything appears to be moving.
The eyes in a portrait dart back and forth, a pair of hands emerges from Mona Lisa’s face and begins to manipulate the painting, the head of a portrait turns around in loops, and then a wave of relief as children realize this isn’t another crummy art gallery with old boring art. A secret passageway leads to the cube’s interior where almost every artwork can be manipulated or altered from behind, a place where the art can be touched and kids are free to laugh, run and play while interacting directly with some of the world’s most famous paintings. A killer idea.
Graphic designer and competitor for Best Dad Ever David LaFerriere has been drawing illustrations on his children’s sandwich bags since 2008. Lucky for us he photographs almost every single one, over 1,100 of which you can explore over on Flickr. (via quipsologies)
Slovenia-based photographer Matej Peljhan recently teamed up with a 12-year-named Luka who suffers from muscular dystrophy, to create a wildly imaginative series of photos depicting the boy doing things he is simply unable to do because of his degenerative condition. While he can still use his fingers to drive a wheelchair and to draw, things like skateboarding and swimming are simply not possible.
After having a conversation with Luka about his understandably normal desire to play sports or go swimming, Peljan was struck with the idea to create a non-digitally manipulated series of photographs showing the boy conquering a number of imaginary physical feats. The photographer used sheets and other props as a backdrop and shot Luca from above to capture each image, showing clearly the boy’s strength and shared sense of humor. See more photos from the series on the photographer’s website. All images courtesy the artist. (via peta pixel)
In the mid 1990s Japanese artist Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam was showing a large scale crochet artwork at an art gallery when two rambunctious children approached her and asked if the sculpture, resembling a colorful hammock, could be climbed on. She nervously agreed and watched cautiously as her suspended artwork twisted and stretched as the kids climbed on top of it. Suddenly an idea was born. Almost three years later MacAdam would open her first large-scale crochet playground in conjunction with engineers TIS & Partners and landscape architects Takano Landscape Planning. She has since created several additional playscapes around Japan, photos of which were recently made available for the first time online only a few weeks ago. However the MobileMe site where the projects were hosted seems to be permanently down, but Paige over at the Playscapes blog managed to highlight a few of the most interesting shots. Hopefully a new site will go up before long.
Influential children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, creator of Where the Wild Things Are, has died. You can find his obituary on the New York Times. This is such a sad day and a great loss. Do yourself a favor and watch his interview on the Colbert Report (parts 1 and 2 above), he was a witty, delightful curmudgeon up until his last days.
While I truly appreciate the need for any kid to get dirty in a sandbox or let their imagination run wild in a field of mud puddles (something I was doing myself only an hour ago), I love to see how technology like a Kinect 3D camera can create new interactive environments and games. Case in point this new augmented reality sandbox designed by Oliver Kreylos out of U.C. Davis that projects a real-time colored topographic map complete with contour lines onto the surface of the sand while you manipulate it. The system even allows you to pour virtual water on your creation and interact with it in real time. It’s not hard to imagine switching the entire system to volcano mode, or using the projection in some sort of three dimensional toy battlefield. Gah!
According to Krelos’ YouTube page, the project was funded by the National Science Foundation with the hopes of installing these systems as exhibits at science museums like the Lawrence Hall of Science or the Tahoe Environmental Research Center. See another demo of this 21st century sandbox here. (via reddit)