I Played The World’s Largest Tetris Game | The Creators Project

A first-hand account of being involved in a large community-organized play event.

As much as I love Philadelphia, I never considered it a breeding ground for innovation, but over the past few years, the city has built up enough of a tech scene to spawn an entire week dedicated to celebrating it. To kick off its fourth year, Philly Tech Week gave locals the chance to play Tetris on the Cira Centre, a building conspicuous for bearing a grid of color changing LEDs that sometimes display the Phillies logo. It’s the second game Drexel University professor Frank Lee has brought to the Cira Centre, topping his giant Pong game last year. “What was gratifying for me about the Pong project last year was not that it was the world’s biggest videogame display, although that’s kind of cool. Rather, it was the sharing of the moment by the two people playing, the hundreds of people watching, and thousands of people across Philadelphia watching,” says Lee. Similarly, giant Tetris is more of an art project than a feat for the record books. Lee aims to create a social benefit, what he calls an “aesthetic of a shared moment.”

more details via I Played The World’s Largest Tetris Game | The Creators Project.

Just a fun side note: being part of a large collected effort, whether it’s volunteering at a beach cleanup or playing group Tetris, is very beneficial to mental health as well.

This past Saturday was International Pillow Fight Day, for example, and it received a lot of positive feedback from grown-ups who participated, even with the occasional mention of a hard hit. So pull out the cubes and let’s get it on!

Grab a copy of 21 Days in the Woods and start a group session | Elisabeth M. Stone

We’re too late to join Elisabeth Stone on her group session she had back in February, but I still loved this idea of making a 21 day challenge to get outside!

21 Days in the Woods Poster

21 Days in the Woods is a connection project to get you and your family out in the woods once a day for 21 days. It is well-structured and adaptable to any age range. When you purchase your immediate download of the workbook, you can choose to work through it now or later

more via Grab a copy of 21 Days in the Woods and join us for a group session on February 1st. | Elisabeth M. Stone.

April has just started, and it’s starting to feel more and more like Spring, so take a look and see about how you can challenge yourself to get out into the woods.

DIY Tree Art

scientiste:

Some nice examples of playful tree decor and public art using trees to send you off into the weekend…

Originally posted on The Dirt:

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The Chandelier Tree / This Is Colossal

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The Chandelier Tree / This Is Colossal

For ages, trees have been a favorite subject of landscape painters. Their material has long provided substance for sculptors and crafters. Now, some contemporary artists are rediscovering the artistic effects that can be achieved with the humble tree. And, showing clear appreciation, these artists aren’t damaging the trees.

This Is Colossal tells us that Adam Tenebaum, a Los Angeles-based artist, was recently bequeathed a number of large chandeliers by a lighting-loving ancestor. Unfortunately, they were too large for his house, so he decided to create The Chandelier Tree, a one-of-a-kind installation in Silver Lake.

Here’s a documentary about the piece:

In Potsdam, Germany, street artists Daniel Siering and Mario Shu transformed an average-joe tree along a road into a startling illusion.

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Daniel Siering and Mario Shu / Street Art Utopia

They wrapped the…

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Anti-loneliness augmented quilt comforts children in hospital (Wired UK)

An older article, but too charming and innovative not to share on the blog:

A patchwork quilt aims to combat separation issues and distress in hospitalised children by allowing them to helping them to communicate with their families using augmented reality.

Each of the quilt’s 20 squares is decorated with a unique multi-coloured animal or plant design and can be linked to an individual friend or family member. Loved ones can then leave messages for children to access with Aurasma, an app which uses the camera on a phone or tablet to recognise the unique image and overlay content — a picture, photo or video — so that it pops up on the screen.

The quilt is designed to serve as both a comforting, tactile object and a method of communication

more via Anti-loneliness augmented quilt comforts children in hospital (Wired UK).

San Francisco Wants You to See and Feel Innovation

scientiste:

San Francisco is creating playful, exploratory public spaces for everyone to try out.

Originally posted on The Dirt:

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Pause / Shawn Lani via The Architect’s Newspaper

San Francisco has long been a test bed for innovation when it comes to its streets. With their Pavement to Parks program, the city showed how low-cost parklets and pop-up plazas can make streets much more welcoming, creating new street life where there was once only cars. Now, the city is experimenting with what they call Living Innovation Zones (LIZs), public-private spaces that also feel like design installations. The city thinks these places can become “catalysts for exploration, innovation, and play.”

The idea of the LIZ program is to express in physical form what San Francisco is all about: innovation. San Francisco sees the LIZs as a way to demonstrate the “economic and technological movements that define San Francisco today.” These public installations are people-friendly monuments to the city’s “creative expression and DIY spirit.”

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said the…

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These are the most fantastical playgrounds ever built

Having fun, exciting spaces to play is important for both kids and grown-ups, so it’s nice to see what’s out there for kids, and hopefully grown-ups will follow suit.

When you’re a kid, visiting an amazing playground is the greatest experience ever. And these fantasy-themed playgrounds around the world have us wishing that we were kids again so we could run around in them like small, crazy people.

more via These are the most fantastical playgrounds ever built.

All of these are in more urban settings, and it would be cool to see some more natural playscapes, but the ideas behind some of these parks are fantastic!

An Artist’s Quest: To Force Strangers In Cities To Talk To One Another | Co.Exist

Sometimes all it takes is one person to start a neighborhood to start talking and engaging with one another. Someone moves in and throws an open house. Or even a garage sale. So how can art, or an artist, inject “love and play” into a community, particularly when the younger generations trust each other less than ever before?

San Francisco-based artist Hunter Franks is on a three-week mission across several different cities to explore just that, and hopefully get some “creative intervention” going in these urban areas.

An Artist's Quest: To Force Strangers In Cities To Talk To One Another | Co.Exist | ideas + impact

One Franks’s planned activities is something called “Vacant Love,” which aims to transform abandoned or neglected buildings with messages of affection. Another, called the “Free Portrait Project” asks residents to sit for a Polaroid photo taken by Franks, and during the 120 seconds it takes for the picture to develop, entertain a brief interview about their lives. Other interventions include two-way advice booths, for citizens to both give and take advice from one another, as well as an activity that asks people to write sticky notes about their loves and fears on a public wall. Franks will also be expanding his SF Postcard Project, in which he gathered postcards written from low-income San Francisco neighborhoods and mailed them to homes in ritzier ZIP codes.

more via An Artist’s Quest: To Force Strangers In Cities To Talk To One Another | Co.Exist | ideas + impact.

What activities have you seen, or even been engaged in, that got a neighborhood members involved and communicating? For some, even a Little Free Library can get the ball rolling. Tell us your experiences in the comments below.

Inspire Creativity at Work With All 5 of Your Senses | Mashable

Work IS  a fully engrossing experience, so why not enhance all of those experiences?

You’ve probably heard of the debate about whether open offices or the oh-so-dreaded traditional cubicles are better in the workplace. All these discussions revolve around layout and arrangement, but did you know that ambience is equally (if not more) important for inspiring workplace creativity?

If only the interior designer had known that people working in white offices are more likely to complain of nausea and headaches, or that dim lighting jump starts creative freedom, your office might be a much happier place. In fact, the best offices engage all five senses — everything from colors and music to smells and tastes — to maximize your productivity and creativity.

Read the infographic below to decode why your office might be holding you back, and discover small things you can do to unleash your team’s creative powers in no time.

more via Inspire Creativity at Work With All 5 of Your Senses.

Introducing the Longboard Stroller: Half Baby Stroller, Half Skateboard

scientiste:

How did I miss this before? Want! Such a fun way for both parent and kiddo to get around!

Originally posted on NewsFeed:

Good news for hip urban parents: Soon you may not have to push your kids around in a stodgy stroller like regular moms and dads. Instead, you’ll be able to roll along with your pint-sized offspring on a skateboard with a stroller mounted on top of it.

Belgian design firm Studio Peter van Riet has teamed with stroller company Quinny to create an “urban mobility concept with an eye to the future”: the world’s first longboard stroller, which essentially takes a traditional baby stroller and affixes it to the front end of a long skateboard. Peter Van Riet, owner of the design studio, told the Daily Maithat one of the main principles guiding the project is that it’s an environmentally-friendly alternative to traveling by car or bus.

Now, if you’re thinking, “But wait, is this safe?”, then well done — that means you worry about children and their overall…

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Twitter to Install 19th Century Log Cabins in its SF Headquarters | Inhabitat

Do you think better in a small, cozy place, or something a little more rustic than modern offices? Twitter now has got its employees covered in that department.

Employees at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters will soon have a chance to tap their creativity inside repurposed 19th century log cabins. The tech company has made a plan to install two homesteader cabins salvaged from historic ranches in Montana. The cabins will be installed within an open area in the headquarters, and serve as a creativity-inducing dining area.

The cabins, which are nicknamed Stanford and Belt to honor the Montana towns they were sourced from, will join other salvaged materials in the Twitter offices. Twitter’s logos throughout the office are made from reused California license plates, and the reception desk is made from salvaged bowling alley planks.

Like other tech companies in Silicon Valley, Twitter’s office is chock full of gimmicky but enjoyable features to inspire its employees. The refurbished office includes a yoga studio, rooftop garden, arcade and culinary treats like a cupcake shop, all clad in salvaged wood. The cabins are expected to be installed in the coming weeks.

more via Twitter to Install 19th Century Log Cabins in its SF Headquarters | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building, or from its source CBS.

Going into a novel space, or even a space that feels special, can really boost creativity and/or help people focus on a project. It can also help to have some place quiet and private to concentrate and really dive in to something, whether it’s a log cabin at work or just a small “phone booth” style room.

What small, perhaps quirky, space do you use for yourself to get work done? Let us know about it in the comments below.