Sunday, July 25, 2010

Indoor Eco Fabric Garden by Jam & Ted Baker

Part hanging plant, part green art installation, the Indoor Fabric Garden from the recent 100% Design in London is a green and eye-catching collaborative project from fashion house Ted Baker and UK branding agency JAM. The installation merges tasteful fabrics and beautiful flora, giving modern dwellers a great way to integrate greenery into their interiors seamlessly and stylishly. Plus, the hanging vessels are made use from reused lampshades and their fabrics to reinforce the environmental focus of the project.

Recycled Toy Sculpture

Robert Bradford creates his life-size and larger-than-life sculptures of humans and animals from discarded plastic items, mainly toys but also other colorful plastic bits and pieces, such as combs and buttons, brushes and parts of clothes pegs.

Contrary to some reports, he’s not a self-taught artist who tinkered in his shed one day and suddenly decided to create something out of his kids’ discarded toys. He is a London-born and U.K. and U.S.-trained visual artist who, like many artists, also had another career on the side. His was that of a psychotherapist.

In 2002, he started to consider the possibilities that his children’s forgotten toys could have as part of something bigger. Bradford says he likes the idea that the plastic pieces have a history, some unknown past, and that they also pass on a “cultural” history as each of the pieces represents a point in time. Recycling is not his primary concern, but each sculpture certainly keeps quite a few pieces from becoming landfill. Some of the sculptures contain pieces from up to 3,000 toys and sell for £12,000 (US$19,000).

Carton Landia

Many households have plenty of garbage: cardboard, boxes, wrapping paper and packing materials. Anna Serrano doesn’t see garbage – instead she is acutely aware of the opportunity waiting for her among the mundane materials. Take a look at her cardboard sculpture, Cartonlandia, a five-foot tall world of corrugated-collage people, places and things.

Are you digging through your cardboard cartons yet? Ready to try your hand at a building or two? A street or three?

I’d love to see a room full of these neighborhoods side by side!

Send us pic of your very own Carton Landia!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Life as a Super Hero!

Life as a Super Hero! from Brianne on Vimeo.

Checkout the Super Hero's from the Bambini Creativi Explorers Workshop! Go behind the scenes of these Super Hero's & find out what life is really like behind the mask! Amazing!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sign-up for Play Groups & Explorers Workshops Today!

Bambini Creativi Red Balloon Exhibit

It is always the simple things:)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Create your own hanging garden!

This unique form of gardening is based off of kokedma. Kokedma is the art of growing plants from moss balls – Koke (Moss) Dama (Ball) – “the poor man’s bonsai”. Robin from Urban Gardens Web (a great site) got in touch with Fedor who put his unique twist on typical kokedma by hanging the plants from ceilings with string. Fedor will hang the plants at eye level and will continually adjust the string as the plant grows as its center of gravity changes.

Fedor keeps the plants watered by moss that goes right to the center of the ball or by a steady dripping system that keeps the root ball moist. They generally are watered every three days. Another possible way to water is the ‘Kokedma way’ where you just put the whole ball into a bucket of water for 2-3 minutes. Then just gently squeeze the ball and you’re all set. You can also just mist the moss to ensure it stays green.

Because of the small size of the ball the plants will typically remain small with the inside of the ball allowing for growth and development of the plant’s root system.'

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Preschool in the Forest Vashon Island

Seattle Times staff reporter
Rowan Marceau-Roache, left, 3, and Boots Van Spronsen, 5, find a seat in their preschool "classroom" — a 5-acre Vashon Island site. Kids are always outside at Cedarsong Nature Preschool, where the goal is an introduction to nature. Assistant teacher Karen Olsen is at right
Play video: Preschool in the Forest
Indian plum. Huckleberry leaves. Tips of ferns. Cedar bark. Salal leaves. Douglas fir buds. Miner's lettuce.
All put in a Thermos of hot water brought to the remote site by teacher Erin Kenny.
This is tea, which the preschoolers will drink at snack time.
That these youngsters, ages 3 to 5, can identify the plants and know which are edible may seem incredible. But not to Kenny, who created Cedarsong Nature Preschool two years ago.
It's completely outdoors. The school's motto: "Children cannot bounce off the walls if we take away the walls."

The Vashon Island school is so popular it has a waiting list. Only once in the two years Kenny has run the school has a class gone indoors. That was in the middle of the winter last year, when the snow was so deep the kids escaped into the library.
School has never been canceled. The kids come equipped with their raincoats, mittens and rubber "muck" boots — better for playing in the mud puddle.
When she began her preschool, Kenny, an attorney, opened it two days a week. Now it's four days, and next year it'll be five because the program is so popular.
"I am passionate about spending time in nature," said Kenny, who received her law degree from the University of Washington but believes her true calling is the outdoors. She used to run a nature camp, and the preschool seemed a natural extension. She also runs camps in the summer.
Kenny said her all-outdoor preschool is the only one in the state and could be the only one in the Northwest. While they are popular in Europe as Forest Kindergartens, Kenny said it's hard to convince American parents that their children can be outside for hours. In the rain.
She limits admission to seven kids, all age 3 to 5.
"When kids spend their time in nature, they pride themselves about how much they know," said Kenny, who owns the 5-acre property where she runs her school. "Children need to be immersed in nature. They're loving it."
It's filled with trees, where she's hung decorations so the kids can find their private forts or hideaways. In the middle is a huge mud puddle, where the kids can spend hours concocting make-believe dishes such as "blood soup."
They nibble on the plants they know are edible, including cedar bark, which is a good immune booster, Kenny said.
"This is forest candy," says Lorelei Fitterer, 4, holding up a bud from a Douglas fir. "These are little buds you can eat."
"And why do lilies turn yellow?" Kenny prods.
"They're decomposing," says Lorelei, a big word coming out of a little mouth.
"And what do leaves do?" Kenny asks another child.
"They turn sunlight into sugar," says Lola Dammann, 4.
"And what do bugs do in the winter?"
"They hibernate," says Lola.
Kenny leads her troop on a walk through the woods, singing the songs she's crafted for the children, like "Ring Around the Trees." She has no lesson plans beyond simply introducing the children to nature.

She reaches down and picks up a cone from the forest floor. "What is this?" she asks. "It's Doug fir," says Boots Van Spronsen, 5, without hesitation. Boots was born with a palsy, which makes his left side weak. But at Cedarsong, he grips tree limbs with his left hand.
"He's come so far," said his mother, Shelley Van Spronsen. "When he's doing something physically stimulating in the natural environment, he's great. My son started learning about plants and I would get panicky when he would eat something. I'd look it up and Boots was always right."
She said she hesitated about sending her son to preschool, so when she heard about Cedarsong she tried to find "dirt" on Kenny. There wasn't any, so she enrolled him and has never regretted it.
"He tells me what things are," Van Spronsen said. "He sings songs about condensation evaporation. He just loves it."

Kenny, who has lived on Vashon for 12 years, spent 10 years at a wilderness hot springs in the Cascades, where she would take people on walks and talk about plants. She said she was a lawyer for four years before deciding she needed to be outdoors.
She charges by the day: A child who comes one day a week pays $100 a month; three days costs $300 a month. The school is open from 9 a.m. to noon.
Kenny funds scholarships at Cedarsong by using the plants at the site to make and sell herbal remedies.
"We stress individual empowerment and group bonding," said Kenny, who has four ironclad rules: no hitting, no pushing, no grabbing and no name-calling.
She tells parents two other rules: "We will hug your kid. We will hold your kid."
Beulah Ellison-Taylor, 3, clutches a salal leaf. "This is a lollipop," she announces.
A worm crawls under a piece of bark. "What happened to it?" prods Kenny. "It's camouflaged," says Lorelei. Boots grabs a huckleberry leaf and swallows it whole.
Kenny shakes her head. "The words these kids know."

On cold days they'll build campfires and pop popcorn over the flames. At snack time she'll slice celery and slather it with peanut butter.
"I feel so passionate about kids being outdoors," said Kenny. "In American culture, people don't spend a lot of time outdoors."
Lola's dad, F.L. Dammann, said he was attracted to Cedarsong because he enjoys nature and wanted a preschool that encouraged play and imagination and wasn't too structured.
"I was turned off by the 'power preschools' that prepare you for college on day one," he said. "Last year we dropped Lola off and, oh my God, what are we doing? It was 28 degrees and pouring rain, and she had a great time. It has a profound effect on how she deals with things. It really helped level her out."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

how to makedo - extended version from MAKEDO on Vimeo.
Wouldn’t you love to make play objects, kid’s costumes, furniture, decorations for the home and well, just about anything you can think of from the materials around you?
makedo makes it possible and impossibly fun.
makedo is a connector system that enables materials including cardboard, plastic and fabric to easily join together to form new objects or structures.
When you’re done playing, simply pull it apart to reuse over and over again.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Recent visitors to LACMA have noticed that the center of the BP Grand Entrance is now filled with a dense forest of bright, colorful plastic. The aptly titled HappyHappy is Korean artist Choi Jeong-Hwa’s site-specific installation created for the upcoming exhibition Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists from Korea (June 28–September 20, 2009). When the exhibition opens, visitors will be allowed to walk through HappyHappy and discover that the explosion of abstract shapes and saccharine colors are actually nothing more than floor-to-ceiling strands of thousands of household containers procured from local 99¢ stores.

Choi is considered the father of Korean pop art, and his enduring interest in popular materials and consumer culture is evident when you move through the rows and rows of plastic containers, many of which are manufactured in Asia and found in many Korean homes.
Consider this a sneak preview of Choi’s work. Installation of Welcome, a second site-specific project that will transform the fa├žade of the Ahmanson Building, starts today…

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Italian Graffiti Artist BLU does it a little differently.
There’s plenty of Blu’s art online, but frustratingly little about the artist himself – this is the most complete biography we found. What we do know is that he’s an Italian street artist known for his incredibly compelling style and the well-loved innovative stop-motion animation MUTO. His work can be seen in London, Berlin, Prague, Barcelona, and all over Argentina. His website is full of wonderful things, including lots of sketches and photos of past painted walls.

Friday, February 19, 2010

International Pillow Fight Day | April 3rd 2010! Join the Fun!!!!

International Pillow Fight Day | April 3rd 2010

On Saturday April 3rd 2010, there will be massive pillow fights in cities around the world!  Check out the list of cities that participated in 2008 and 2009. Learn more about the urban playground movement.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Politics of Play

Great game to play with children & their families around the schoolyard.
Game 2: Plot Cast 
Plot Casting was inspired by interviewing peole about their desires for the neighborhood. Many people wanted more trees and would like to remove urban furniture and replace them with trees or plants. One gardener wanted to do "flower terrorism". 
How many players?
No limit

Type of game: team, competitive, adventure…
Participatory game for residents of the area
What do people need to play the game:
-pieces, board, architecture…
-Materials to make flags.
Recruitment (getting people to play)
Referee ( to say "start" and determine winner)
Making the need for green spaces visible, environmental concerns. Teams acting like wind spreading seeds- distributive computing.
The idea was inspired by a gardener from St. Ouen who wanted to do "flower terrorism". Giving the game a competitive, speed-based character which reminds of aggressive competition in economy to be first and faster than the competitors.
Who does the project benefit?
Local people (beauty, air quality)and for visitors (it makes it more attractive). Animals.
Who is it for (audience)?
Residents in the neighborhood
What aspect of "community" does it address?
The planted flags communicate to the people, and can bring up a conversation, make the need visible to locals and local politicians. A movement can emerge that makes people plant together, like a demonstration through planting.
Take pictures as documentation, map with GPS the places where people want to have green and that could become plots. This map could also be sent to the mayor of St. Ouen.
Other Thoughts: (things you learned, unexpected outcomes…)
There is really a lack of green spaces in St. Ouen that people would really want to leave the area for that reason.
It was also surprising that people were afraid when we started talking to them and asking them questions.
References: (urls, projects, books)
Noderunners, C-Theory, Pac Manhattan, Paul Ardenne, Yuri Gitman, Carlos Gomez de Llarena, The Yes Men

Shape Lab, MOMA Feb 10-June 14

Come explore! Make discoveries about shape and art in our newest interactive space. In Shape Lab, families can experiment, build, draw, read, and create with a variety of kid-friendly materials and activities. Stop by the Lab before or after visiting MoMA’s galleries.

Open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; Friday, 10:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chill-Out Room

Need to just get away from it all?  Love looking at the night stars, but hate the biting mosquitoes? Then step into the Chill-Out room inflatable that would make NASA proud.
Making use of 31 interconnected hexagonal pillows, this comfy pod inflates to seven feet which should be enough room for you & your sweetie to snuggle hive-like under the evening sky.
A large entry portal gives you access, white PVC walls cocoon you soundly & a clear overhead panel offers you mosquito-biting-free views.  I think of this inflatable as more of an escape pod.  If the in-laws or kids are getting you down, climb aboard and roll your cares away.  That’s what I would do, find a good hill and start rolling.  I would never have been found if this was available to me in my childhood, for me it was just cardboard boxes and digging up rocks.
The Chill-Out inflatable was originally priced at $400 last year.

Mountain Hardware’s Stronghold Camping Tent

Whether you’re heading to the Himalayas or just to your favorite campsite, Mountain Hardware’s Stronghold Camping Tent has got you covered. The Stronghold is an impervious, double-walled ground tent, and its funky dome shape minimizes wind load over its surface area. To help circulate air, this Mountain Hardware camping tent has three zippered doors, a large roof vent and five perimeter vents. For cold-weather campers, a perimeter floor-band creates waterproof seats for carved snow benches. Supported by Yunan Scandium Expedition PF poles, the bar-tacked stress points and nylon pack cloth reinforcements add durability to the Stronghold. Retail price of around $3,000. Mountain Hardware.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lunchbox Laboratory

Lunchbox Laboratory is a collaboration between Futurefarmers + the Biological Sciences Team at the National Renewable Energy Lab. Currently scientists are using algae to produce hydrogen and have discovered that it is a viable renewable energy form, in thatalgae is everywhere and it could also be used to produce biodeisel. One of the main hurdles for the research is to find the most productive strains of algae. Since there are potentially millions of strains, this task is monumental. Lunchbox Laboratory is a prototype for a potentially distributed research tool that would be sent to schools such that young scientists could do primary screening of a collection of algae strains. This would serve as a preliminary screening such that non productive strains would be ruled out and only productive strains would reach labs. This project enables students to participate in big science as well as network with other students nationwide to compare notes.

Cloud, Portable Meeting Room

Cloud is the portable room for meeting, resting and concentrating. The room is easy to transport from place to place and is installed in three minutes. A quiet fan keeps the room inflated as long as needed. Fan and bag included.

Snug Fit, Open-ended outdoor play materials!