The Near West Side Initiative (NWSI) and UPSTATE: A Center for Design, Research and Real Estate in the School of Architecture invited members of the community to experience a prototype of the Movement on Main competition-winning design, “Light-Play!,” on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 115 Otisco St.
The winning design, submitted by STOSS Landscape Urbanism of Boston, was announced in April. The project demonstration gave community members an opportunity to interact with the design and proposed materials, and to meet the designers in person.
Over 200 people came throughout a two hour window to see the design and give their feedback. The highlight was having 50 Near West Side youth from Blodgett K-8 School and Fowler High School, in attendance to really give it a proper stress test and to ensure that the youth of the neighborhood liked it.
“Light-Play!” focuses on shaping healthy bodies, a healthy street and a healthy—and vibrant—community in the Near West Side. The design plays with light and colorful materials to create a new identity for Wyoming Street, a new activity center for neighborhood life and playful new surfaces and structures that inspire movement in people of all ages. The design includes activity mounds (small and large), seating elements and rain gardens—arranged as social rooms along the street that allow for people to sit, jump, skip, run, sled and play. Additionally, projected lights are activated at night by people via motion sensors and reflective surfaces.
The design takes a broad understanding of health, one in which physical, psychological, social, environmental and public health are all intertwined and can contribute to an enhanced sense of community. “Light-Play!” addresses all of this in a concentrated and fun streetscape that beckons people to interact, to move, to engage.
We are thrilled to present a prototype of Movement on Main to the community,” says Jacobs, director of the NWSI. “Knowing how hard it is to get a real feel for a project like this just based on a drawing, we felt it was really important to create a small-scale, interactive installation that allows people to experience the materials, the colors and some of the exercise equipment that has been proposed.”