Studio in the Park
Week 4

Over the past week, the People’s Design Laboratory has transitioned from its research phase to its design phase. Using elements of the drawings they’ve been collecting in handmade books (the books seen in last week’s post), Patrick and members of Mobile Print Power have spent the last few days creating five graphic signs to be printed and shared with the public this Saturday.

The People’s Design Laboratory’s sign prototypes are centered around park zones and recreational destinations. Following Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver’s assertion that Flushing Meadows Corona Park comprises at least two distinct parks, if not more, and unrealized plans for the park that included multiple zones of activity and ecology, Patrick and MPP have made designs indicating two separate zones: natural and cultural. The natural zone’s design is sourced from the studio’s collection of tree drawings, while the cultural zone heavily features World’s Fair icons, from people’s varying perspectives, and highlights the local community’s knowledge of the Unisphere’s rainbow, blazing ring-like across the globe.

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Also included are drawings for the playgrounds and ice rink-for-all-seasons. Check out the swimming pool inside of the ice skate below.

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Perhaps most importantly, people wanted help finding the park’s seemingly hidden bathrooms. Instead of developing typical gendered bathroom signage, the People’s Design Laboratory’s participating publics thought boldly, imaginatively, and literally, finding that the clearest indication would be a giant toilet—with doors! This could very well be the future of restroom signage.

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Patrick spent yesterday evening finalizing the drawings with Brandon and Jennifer from MPP (see them working hard in the studio below) and burning screens. Today and tomorrow, he’ll be printing the signs on fabric, and getting ready for Saturday’s program, the culminating event of his residency.

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From 1-5 this Saturday, June 11th, the People’s Design Laboratory will reveal their designs as part of a celebration that includes live dance performances by Danza Azteca Chichimeka and Ñukanchik Llakta Wawa Kunas-Wawas Sumags, onsite printing, freshly tie-dyed t-shirts, music, snacks, and a procession through the park. Patrick and members of the World’s Park community look forward to hearing your responses to the prototyped signs. So, come join us at the Studio in the Park to explore the People’s Design Laboratory’s work and celebrate the creativity of the park’s community!