Transforming from Ordinary to Extraordinary

on September 21, 2012

It’s PARK(ing) Day! The concept began in 2005 when a public space design firm called Rebar transformed a paid street parking space in San Francisco into a green space for two hours. Since then, it has become an annual, global event addressing many social, environmental, and cultural needs. For many people, like me, it’s just plain fun. Toledo’s Uptown Association coordinated the first PARK(ing) Day here last year. When we heard that it was coming back, we were excited to join, and even more excited when we started to think about what Root could do with a 7’x14′ parking space.

Much the same way we approach our client work, a group of people brainstormed on a concept to fill the space that feels like Root while not being an overt advertisement. Our solution was to turn our parking space into a table top, the Creation Station, with interactive props designed to invite the audience into the space to build, create, draw, and have fun. Again, just like most of our client solutions, we have come up with a unique way to engage people, to make it interactive, while having it appeal to both right-brain and left-brain thinkers to help them draw their own conclusions of what’s going on. Not just telling them outright what they should be seeing.

For this project, we are assembling:

  • A giant Jenga set with inspirational words written on the pieces.
  • A giant Polaroid picture frame with a dry erase surface at the bottom for people to write on for a photo op. We’ll take pictures of participants and post them to Root’s Facebook page.
  • A Leave Behind Plant, similar to Root’s guest tree – it’s a place for participants to write on leaves or leave behind random objects.
  • iChalk – a giant iPad with a chalkboard for a screen that people can draw on with oversized crayons with chalk tips.
  • As well as other fun, oversized props!

Another consistent pattern with this project and all of our other client solutions and deliverables is that it takes thought, time, and energy to bring it to life. The hope is that people will be looking at a parking space in a completely different way, helping them see a story in the materials, and enabling them to make personal connections to the different pieces.

For more information about PARK(ing) Day, visit uptowntoledo.org/parking-day

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