PLAY WORK BUILD: Rockwell Group

Curator: Daniel Savage
date: January 15, 2013
Categories: Experience Design
Tags: exhibit, interactive, Museum, rockwellgroup
Installation view of the exhibition at the National Building Museum

Much of my time as a child was spent creating giant “sculptures” with Pipeworks and pretending they were spaceships. Although Pipeworks are no longer available, the Rockwell Group’s Imagination Playground is here to fill that void.

The Imagination Playground, which has been around for a few years, has both a permanent location on Manhattan’s Wall Street, as well as traveling collections that are brought to communities across the country. The playground consists of foam blocks reminiscent of a giant LEGO set, allowing children to act as the designer of their own playground.

Recently, Rockwell Group collaborated with the National Building Museum to create an exhibition that starts with the history of construction toys, bringing visitors back to a simpler playtime with Lincoln Logs and Tinkertoys, and leading visitors up to the Imagination Playground. In the final gallery, Rockwell Group’s interactive design team, LAB, created an interactive installation of virtual block play. This installation lets visitors create blocks based on their position in relation to the wall. As time passes, the wall fills up with blocks, allowing visitors to knock them down. 

Children interacting with the virtual block play installation.

The “Imagination Playground”

The story behind the exhibition

This video offers a behind-the-scenes look at the virtual block play installation.

The exhibition will be up until November 18, 2014. The next time you’re in Washington, D.C, be sure to check it out.

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