BNY Mellon CityACCESS Teen Ambassadors cart a whole playground down Magazine St.
The epicenter of Boston Children’s Museum’s famous exhibit Design and Production is at 100 Magazine St in Roxbury, just five blocks from Dudley Town Common and the Pop-Up Children’s Museum.
At “D&P,” a talented staff of designers and fabricators dream up, articulate and build exhibit experiences for BCM as well as external museum clients. Every Thursday, these designers and fabricators– Ben, Marla, Matt and Bill– generously open their office to BCM’s Community Partnerships staff members as we design the Pop-Up Museum. BCM’s six BNY Mellon CityACCESS Teen Ambassadors join ten youth from the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative’s GOTCHA (Get Off the Corner Hanging Around) summer work program to review last week’s progress and define this week’s activities.
Twelve youth. Four staff leaders. Lots of ideas. And a well-used water cooler.
One of the first basic design challenges was how to transport 36 molded plastic “waffle blocks”– and a chorus of art supplies, roller-coaster-makings, and sidewalk chalk– the five blocks to Dudley Town Common. The waffle blocks connect firmly with one another to become firetrucks, life rafts and, in some cases, cafe tables for two once they arrive at Dudley Town Common
Clearly, this transportation challenge called for us to make a train chassis of waffle blocks and mount it on a wheeled cart. We loaded all our stuff in our makeshift train engine and made our way up the street. We got a few sideways looks from passerby. Between the P-O-P-U-P letters on the side and the giggling, be-aproned cart-bearers, it must have looked like a very small circus was rolling into town.
All supplies made it safely up the street to our station. We dismantled the cart and produced from the waffle blocks six, six-sided cubes with letters on the sides so families could spell out “juicy words”: big, powerful, vocabulary building nouns, adjectives and verbs. From the supplies, the foam pieces that billowed from the smokestack of our primary colored choo-choo train became tracks for a miniature roller coaster. IKEA baby bathtubs from inside the train compartment became a traveling Bubbles exhibit. FoodPower Twister became… well, FoodPower Twister. Enough said.
Overall, the transportation experiment worked, but with lots of bumps in the road. Next week, we’re going to pack everything in the six waffle block cubes and walk them up the street. Less of a carnival, but, let’s face it– a better design.